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6. Looking ahead

This document has not attempted to suggest that integrated energy development can solve the energy or development problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. On the contrary, we have defined a relatively constrained set of circumstances in which this approach can be most effective. In areas which meet these criteria, and there are many throughout Latin America especially, integrating energy with the development process can make a discernible contribution to socioeconomic growth. In other areas, and in overall planning and policy, certain facets of integrated energy development may be applicable, even when the entire process is not appropriate. One of the foremost lessons from integrated energy development that can be applied in many instances is the inter-sectoral coordination promoted by these projects.

The future of integrated energy development, on both a regional and a sectoral level, rests largely on the willingness of various institutions and agencies to step outside of their traditional roles and acknowledge the interconnections linking the development process. As this paper has stressed, no one agency can "do" integrated energy development. Instead it must involve a cooperative effort among all participating agencies.

We have shown that energy does not necessarily have to be viewed with the traditional, supply orientation. When seen as a catalytic force capable of bringing about development, energy becomes an integral part of all activities, more than a sector in itself. Again, this approach is not meant to replace the traditional supply-side emphasis, but to complement it. Energy balances must still be compiled, new energy infrastructure must be built. Yet with an expanded scope, supply organizations can see opportunities for demand development projects; development organizations can incorporate energy into their planning process. A number of possibilities exist for the future. On a sectoral level, the methodology could be attempted in additional sectors in which energy plays a critical role, such as mining and other industries. For regional integrated energy development, potentially promising activities are undoubtedly located throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. We hope that the experiences of the OAS and counterpart agencies, as described in this document, will assist others in identifying opportunities in their planning for energy development.

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