Energy Integration and Chinese Investments in the Power Sector in Latin America

Virtual Symposium

Mountains, a solar farm, and a wind turbine

An image from the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study which studied energy integration in western North America

Photo by Dennis Schroeder/NREL

Event Details

Friday, September 23, 2022
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time/GMT+5

How to Attend

Please register to receive a link to connect to the online symposium.

Register Online

Program

In recent years China has made significant investments in power transmission and distribution companies in Latin America. Also, in fall 2015 Chinese President Xi Jingping advanced the concept of a globally integrated power grid known as the Global Energy Interconnection (GEI).

This online symposium brings together an internationally recognized panel of experts to discuss the promises and pitfalls for Latin American countries of China dominating the development of a globally integrated power grid. The symposium will also aim to discuss the role that Chinese investments in the power transmission and distribution companies of key countries in the region could have towards advancing Beijing’s vision related to GEI, and to present measures that Latin American countries could take to avoid the pitfalls associated with a China-dominated globally integrated power grid.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Francisco Urdinez

Dr. Francisco Urdinez

The Woodrow Wilson Center and the Political Science Institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Francisco Urdinez is a 2022-23 Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Associate Professor at the Political Science Institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, where he is affiliated with the Center of International Studies and the Center of Asian Studies. Dr. Urdinez has testified to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission of the American Congress on China-Latin American relations. He has been a Fellow of the Chilean Fund for Scientific and Technological Development. Dr. Urdinez received his Ph.D. joint-degree from the University of São Paulo and King's College London in the field of International Relations. He is specialized in China-Latin American relations and China’s economic statecraft. His research and CV be found at www.furdinez.com.

Panel

Dr. Laurence Delina

Dr. Laurence Delina

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Laurence Delina is an Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He teaches and researches rapid climate change mitigation by accelerating sustainable and just energy transitions. He is the sole author of more than thirty journal articles and four books on these topics, including Covid and Climate Emergencies in the Majority World (Cambridge University Press, 2022). Dr. Delina received his Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales Sydney.

Ms. Cecilia Aguillon

Ms. Cecilia Aguillon

Institute of the Americas, La Jolla, CA

Cecilia Aguillon is the Director of the Energy Transition Initiative at the Institute of the Americas, an impartial and independent non-profit organization promoting dialogue and collaboration across the Western Hemisphere to foster sound public policies and to advance sustainable inclusive economic growth and prosperity. She enables public-private dialogues to develop sustainable renewable energy markets. She also develops renewable energy projects in low-income rural communities in Latin America. Ms. Aguillon worked at Kyocera Solar, Inc. in California on Business Development and Government Relations for 18 years. She worked with policy makers on designing solar energy programs and renewable portfolio standards for implementation across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Dr. Ricardo Raineri

Dr. Ricardo Raineri

Associated Universities, Inc., and Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Ricardo Raineri Bernain is a Senior Economic Advisor at Associated Universities, Inc., Professor at the Engineering School at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and President of Global Mining and Energy Partners LLC -GMAEP-. Economist with extensive professional and research experience in the energy sector and extractive industries span markets, policy, governance, and geopolitical issues. Mr. Raineri is Past-President of the International Association for Energy Economics. Former Chilean Energy Minister and Chairman of the Board of de Chilean State Oil Company (ENAP), former Alternative Executive Director of the World Bank Group, and in 2021 was Member of the High-level Dialogues Technical Working Group on Energy Transition, UN DESA. Dr. Raineri holds a bachelor’s in economics, a Business Engineer professional degree, and master’s in economics degrees from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Economics from the University of Minnesota.

Agenda

9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Welcome and Symposium Introduction
9:10 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.
Keynote address
  • Energy Security and China’s Economic Engagement with Latin America
    Dr. Francisco Urdinez, Woodrow Wilson Center and The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
9:25 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Moderated panel discussion and audience questions
    • Dr. Laurence Delina: China’s Global Energy Interconnections: Promises and Pitfalls (9:25am – 9:40am ET/GME+5)
    • Ms. Cecilia Aguillon: Chinese Investments in the Power Sector in Latin America: Key Insights (9:40am – 9:55am ET/GMT+5)
    • Dr. Ricardo Raineri: Importance of Institutions and Legal Frameworks in the Shaping of Sino - LAC Relations (9:55am – 10:10am ET/GMT+5)
    • Audience questions and answers (10:10am – 10:30am ET/GMT+5)
10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Break-out groups and plenary presentation of key insights from breakout session discussions
    • Break-out sessions: symposium participants convene in small break-out groups to discuss key concerns for Latin American countries related to a China dominated globally integrated power grid then identify and rank recommendations for Latin American governments and private sector on how to best address the identified concerns.
    • Plenary presentation of key insights from breakout session discussions: presenters from each break-out group provide a brief (2-3 minutes) overview of the top concerns and recommendations identified during the break-out sessions.
11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Symposium wrap-up
    • Final questions, comments, and reactions from the audience
    • Description and instructions for post-symposium survey