While today's low oil prices have reduced the sense of urgency surrounding energy issues, most development practitioners realize that the current calm is neither the end of energy problems in developing countries nor are these low prices likely to continue indefinitely. Instead, it is the ideal time to reflect on recent experiences, evaluating both successes and failures with an eye toward preparing for the future.
This document is intended for development and energy planners in the OAS member states, international agencies and elsewhere. We hope that the lessons which the Department of Regional Development (DRD) has learned through programs in integrated energy development can be beneficial to others.
Recent analyses of the energy situation in developing countries point to a similar need in future energy planning:
"The energy planning process of a developing country should integrate socio-economic development (determined by economic, industrial, financial, political and demographic conditions) with market pricing of energy supply and use, environmental impacts and its institutional structure."11 John E. Gray, et al., Energy Supply and Use in Developing Countries: A Fresh Look at Western (OECD) Interests and U.S. Policy Options, The Atlantic Council, 1986, pp. 12-13.
"International assistance organizations must start thinking in terms of country development strategies-not in terms of enhancing forests, crops or energy alone."22 Mohamed T. El-Ashry, "Resource Management and Development in Africa," Journal '86, World Resources Institute, p. 12.
Over the past seven years, the OAS/DRD has followed a path similar to that suggested by the two commentators-integrating energy planning into overall development planning. Contrary to the traditional supply-side view of energy, this approach has a demand orientation, examining energy not as an independent sector but as one component of socio-economic development, necessary and complementary to all others.
The following map shows the countries in which OAS/DRD energy activities have taken place. As the list demonstrates, the scope of these energy-related projects has been as distinct as the countries served - from Human Settlements in the small states of the Caribbean, to Energy and Transportation in Colombia, to Energy Regionalization in Bolivia. In the text that follows, a conceptual framework of the department's approach to integrated energy development will be presented, based less on models and methodologies than on a compendium of real world experiences gained from these programs. Throughout the text, illustrative facets of various programs will be highlighted in separate boxes, called Case Highlights. These Case Highlights do not attempt to capsulize large, multi-faceted regional development programs. Instead, they extract a specific component from a program in order to shed light on the topic discussed in the text.
KIRK P. RODGERS
DEPARTMENT OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
ENERGY AND ENERGY RELATED PROGRAMS - DEPARTMENT OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 1982-1987 ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES