Energy efficiency in Central America: progress and action towards the fulfillment of the goals of the Central American sustainable energy strategy

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has launched a study on energy efficiency (EE) in Central America. The publication analyzes the advances made by the region since the approval of the ‘Central American Sustainable Energy Strategy 2020,' in 2007. The Strategy, which was developed with support from ECLAC, is centered on promoting sustainable development of the region's energy sector, and comprises four EE goals: lighting, refrigerators and industrial electric motors; electricity transmission and distribution losses; oil derivative consumption in transport; and sustainable, efficient and clean firewood stoves in rural areas. The study, titled ‘Energy Efficiency in Central America: Progress and Action towards the Fulfillment of the Goals of the Central American Sustainable Energy Strategy': examines the impetus and role of EE programmes in the region; provides a situational analysis of EE legislation in the region's countries; quantifies the potential for progress in EE in the region; and presents policy recommendations. On the motive for the Strategy, the study explains it arose from regional discussions to address the 2000s' oil price crisis. The study observes great variation in the current status of EE programmes and activities, and energy sector reform between countries. While high oil prices have raised awareness among stakeholders on the importance of EE in net oil importing countries, supply of electricity and pricing issues continue to overshadow the creation and strengthening of institutions focusing on EE.