Of all the untapped sources of clean energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, energy efficiency may offer the greatest impact at the lowest cost. IDB researchers have estimated that the region could reduce its energy consumption by 10 percent over the next decade and save tens of billions of dollars by adopting existing technologies to increase efficiency.
IDB-financed projects have proven that the return on investment for efficient lighting and electric motor programs, for example, is better than the cost of building new energy capacity. Now, the Bank is helping specific sectors—such as biofuels and water utilities—to reduce operating costs through investments in more efficient technology. It is financing programs that will boost the electricity output and prolong the life of existing hydroelectric complexes by upgrading their turbines. And it is underwriting programs to reduce electricity transmission losses and build smarter power grids within countries and across borders.