OREANDA-NEWS. October 14, 2016. The U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos J Hochstein welcomed Luis Chang, Minister of Energy and Mines for the Government of Guatemala to the U.S. Guatemala Energy Policy Dialogue in Washington, D.C. Minister Chang was accompanied by Vice Minister of Energy and Mining Rodrigo Fernandez and Karin Lorente, Director of International Cooperation. The discussions focused on Central Americas regional electricity integration process; progress and next steps following the May 2016 U.S.-Caribbean and Central American Energy Summit; and priorities for the Guatemalan energy sector.

During the dialogue, the U.S. and Guatemalan delegations summarized progress across Central America in implementing recommendations from the U.S.-Central American Energy Security Task Force to strengthen the regional electricity market and power trade. These include financing national transmission investments needed to expand regional power trade; creating a dispute settlement mechanism; and discussing initial progress of an interconnection commission with Mexico to chart a plan for expanding Mexico-Central America electrical connectivity. The participants agreed to continue working collaboratively to build a larger, more competitive electricity market to attract investment and lower electricity prices.

Participants also discussed Guatemalas national energy sector, including options the government is considering to introduce clean natural gas, expand renewable energy use, and implement energy efficiency measures to boost competitiveness and reduce emissions.

The U.S. and Guatemalan delegations concluded the dialogue reaffirming their joint commitment to strengthen bilateral and regional energy cooperation in recognition of energys key role in promoting economic growth and prosperity.

For further information, please contact Alexandra Z. Tenny at TennyAZ@state.gov ext 7-2521, or visit www.state.gov/e/enr, or find us on Twitter @EnergyAtState.