U.S. and Colombian officials announced plans Monday to link all power grids in the western hemisphere and ensure everyone living on the two continents has electricity.
In a press release announcing the “Connecting Americas 2022” energy plan, Colombian Mining and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas said, “In Latin America and the Caribbean there are 30 million people without electricity. The problem is the result of insufficient interconnection of infrastructure.”
According to the U.S. press release, connecting all the hemisphere’s power grids will allow for countries to trade electricity.
“Electrical interconnection benefits all countries by allowing those with excess power to export electricity to countries that have a power deficit. […] Interconnection expands the size of power markets, creating economies of scale, which can attract private investment, lower capital costs, and reduce electricity costs for consumers — that makes businesses more competitive and helps create jobs,” said the release.
Cardenas said, “In the Andean countries alone we will save $1 billion in operating costs, which can be reinvested in social programs.”
According to the Colombian press release, the energy plan has the backing of all leaders who attended the Summit of the Americas – where the plan was proposed – as well as the Inter-American Development Bank.