The race to renewables: Bolivia and Scotland

The race to renewables: Bolivia and Scotland

Emilio Fabio Torsello
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Japan and Saudi Arabia sign green energy cooperation agreement, with over 30 Japanese concerns attending a meeting with the Saudi minister of economy to discuss projects and initiatives

Renewables are the new frontier of energy and offer a way for countries with few resources to turn their luck around and for those already profiting from petroleum or natural gas extraction to diversify. Such is the case of Bolivia, which has announced that it is aiming for a green energy output of 545 MW by 2020. The announcement was made by the country’s minister of hydrocarbons and energy, Luiz Alberto Sánchez, who added that the country will invest over 1 billion USD in renewables through its state electric company.
It is estimated that the country will add some 486 MW to its current output, 173 MW from solar photovoltaic fields. Another 148 MW will be generated from wind installations, while 55 MW will be generated from geothermal and 40 MW from biomass. The goal is to cover 12% of the country’s energy needs with green sources. Bolivia currently only produces 5 MW of energy at its Cobija solar plant and 27 MW at its Oollpana solar park. Over 18 new projects are currently in development.
A country which is well on its way toward the goal of 100% renewable energy output is Scotland. According to a report by WWF Scotland, Friends of the Earth and RSPB Scotland, it is possible that the country will cover at least 50% of its energy needs with clean energy by 2030. Analysts have called the target both "achievable" and "needed." Lang Banks, the director of WWF Scotland, recently stated that, "Ministers should now make this a Scottish government target and bring in the policies needed in its forthcoming energy strategy. Doing so would enable Scotland to enjoy… many economic and social benefits…" Such benefits would include the creation of new jobs. He added that green energy could also be successfully used in the transport sector.
Meanwhile, Japan and Saudi Arabia have signed an energy agreement that also covers the renewables sector. Over 30 major Japanese companies in the technology, engineering, sports and energy (both renewable and nuclear) sectors participated in a meeting with Riyadh’s minister of economy and planning, Adel Fakeih.