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Chile: Solar Energy Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean
Amr M. Abdel Hai, Programme Officer for the Energy Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (left), and Eduardo Noboa, Renewable Energy and Environment Coordinator from the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE), organised a two-day workshop with the aim to strengthen the solar water heating markets in Latin America and the Caribbean. A total of 46 solar thermal experts from several countries (Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay) exchanged information, knowledge, lessons learned and successful experiences.
The two-day seminar was organised as a regional workshop in the framework of the Global Solar Water Heating (GSWH) project. “We wanted to encourage the creation of a network of solar thermal experts in the public and private sector, and identify regions and countries that have a high potential for developing solar thermal energy,” Eduardo Noboa explains the purpose of the workshop. The main session included country reports from potential solar thermal markets across the region: Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay. All presentations are available for download on the OLADE website (www.olade.org/energia-solar-termica).
Key input came from the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF). The Secretary General, Xavier Noyon, held two presentations - one about the importance of a structured solar thermal industry, and the second about guidelines and best practices for policy frameworks, awareness-raising and promotion campaigns.
Nigel Cotton, Regional Technical Adviser at the International Copper Association (ICA), presented the Global Knowledge Management website www.solarthermalworld.org, also a major element of the GSWH project. “My idea was to develop a knowledge-exchange platform on which anyone interested in developing solar thermal could find thoroughly researched information and news in one place,” explained Nigel, who initiated the web portal for solar thermal professionals three years ago. Today, the website ranks high on Google and composes of around 1,700 news and research articles dedicated to solar heating and cooling markets, as well as technologies.
This photo shows Xavier Noyon, Secretary General of ESTIF (on the left on the photo), discussing strategies of successful market development in working groups with participants.
The GSWH Project is a global programme jointly financed and organised by the following international institutions: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the International Copper Association (ICA) and. Its aim is to accelerate both global commercialisation of solar water heating and sustainable market transformation. The first phase covers five countries from around the globe: India, Albania, Lebanon, Chile and Mexico. A network of international and regional agencies was established to serve as a regional interface for gathering knowledge and facilitating the dissemination of relevant information. OLADE is project partner for Latin America and the Caribbean. In its five years, the GSWH project aims at installing an additional 3 million m2 of solar water heater panels across the five selected countries, and creating a sustainable growth base in these markets, with a minimum annual rate of 20%.
The second phase of the GSWH Project will then add other countries and sub regions with a high potential for solar thermal market development - and the political will to carry out regulatory and institutional changes, in order to tap market potential.