Gas, Solar and Renewables: The present and the future of energy

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The conference Gas, Solar and Renewables: The present and the future of energy, was held as part of the cycle of dissemination of activities between the IESA and City of Knowledge, on Friday, June 22. The event had the participation of Fernando Branger - Executive Senior of the Energy Directorate of the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and Federico Fernández - Professor of the IESA and Director of OTEPI Renovables.

Fernando Branger began the conference by analyzing the evolution in the pattern of generation and use of energy worldwide, with special reference to the changes caused by technological transformations, from the Industrial Revolution to the current era of biotechnology, bio-electronics, and nanotechnology. Starting the boom of the "green organizations" that have within their main objectives to preserve the planet.

The speaker analyzed the pattern of generation and consumption of energy in Panama, according to the Ministry of Energy. He stated that for 2016, Petroleum liquids were the main energy source of the country, with 65%, followed by electricity with 23% and liquefied gas with 6%. Currently, Panama is making notable efforts in the development of installed capacity of renewable energy, in particular wind, hydro and solar.

The recommendations to increase energy efficiency in Panama start from the design of public policies that encourage the replacement of inefficient equipment, encourage the development of building codes that include efficiency measures, promote the "ESCO's" (Energy Service Company) and impose tax measures that promote the generation of a greener energy.

The conference continued with the presentation of the IESA professor and OTEPI Director, Federico Fernández, who spoke about the new renewable technologies and the increase in their use in the market from 2010 to 2017, thanks to a significant reduction in their costs.

In Fernandez's opinion, "clean energy", mainly solar and wind power, will be progressively used more and a greater investment will be allocated to them by organizations, governments and people, so that they will be much more accessible over time.

Paradoxically, worldwide, solar energy is used much more in countries with less amount of sunlight per year, as these countries have proposed as a strategy to reduce the energy cost per capita and collaborate with the planet.

Currently in Panama there is a considerable increase in the use of proprietary solar panel systems, linked to the electricity grid, which allows consumers to discount the KWs they contribute to the system from their billing.

"Solar panels are perhaps equipment that by 2018 have aspects that are not well received in the neighborhoods for family consumption, but it is estimated that in the future roofs will be developed that have this technology and may be used more frequently", said Federico Fernández.