While the causes of rapid political change in Bolivia are currently being sought within the accusation of the electoral fraud-related presidency of Evo Morales, more and more voices in Latin America denounce to see a connection between the national lithium industry and the changing power structures. Kathrin Meyer evaluates the multiple facets of this conflict.
The energy transition, and especially the increased electrification of transportation sector, moves forward at great speed. Its new center is Latin America’s lithium triangle, where new batteries of electric vehicles will be sourced. But there is an inevitable conflict coming between water availability and mining, says Rebecca Bertram.
Although Bolivia has some of the largest lithium reserves in the world, the country so far has not focused on extraction. Now that lithium is in high demand for electromobility and renewable technologies, Bolivia’s geopolitical role may change. Maximiliano Proaño takes a look.
Throughout Latin America, tenders and auctions have been a particularly popular mechanism to push the development of renewables. But communities who could benefit from local renewable energy projects are often excluded, says Maximiliano Proaño.
Although Latin America has advanced in renewable energy generation in recent years, the storage issue has not moved forward to the same extent. The conventional view remains one of building electric towers and transformation stations to transmit the electricity miles away from the generation sites, a highly expensive and inefficient option. Emilio Godoy explains.
Nuclear power is not a prevalent source of energy in Latin America. Currently, there are just seven nuclear power reactors in operation, producing just 2.2% of total energy consumption in Latin America: three in Argentina, two in Brazil and two in Mexico. However, it seems that nuclear power around the Western hemisphere is driven by a desire to find alternatives to low fossil fuel prices and CO2 emissions altogether. Are we talking about a nuclear revival? Lilian Sol Cueva takes a look.
Given the significance of securing water supply for human and non-human life, it is important to understand the potential devastating consequences that fracking has on the contamination and waste of water. Lillian Sol Cueva takes a look.