How to integrate renewable energy technologies across South America is the hot topic at a meeting of key industry stakeholders taking place in Buenos Aires this week.

Organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in collaboration with the Argentinian Ministry of Energy and Mining, it has representatives from countries throughout the continent: Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil.

“It is an honour to welcome IRENA’s representative for the first time in Argentina, so as to promote the sharing of experiences on energy planning and the long-term incorporation of renewable energies between the different countries of South America,” said Sebastian Kind, Undersecretary of Renewable Energy at Argentina’s Ministry of Energy and Mining.

Central to the four-day workshop discussions is finding ways to overcome the challenge of harnessing clean energy from variable sources, like wind and solar, into the grid systems. An IRENA report released earlier this year, produced on the back of a project it ran: Addressing Variable Renewable Energy in Long-Term Energy Planning (AVRIL), is providing those gathered in Buenos Aires with the necessary frameworks and technical guidance to discuss and develop workable plans.

“South America has a dynamic renewable energy market, and in many countries throughout the region, scaling up the contribution of renewable energy to the future energy mix is a major policy priority,” added Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre. “Solar and wind power generation have huge potential across the continent, but their unique characteristics require adjustments in the traditional planning processes and methodologies. Getting power sector planning right is critical to securing the investment required to realise that potential.”