Civil Engineering Alumnus to Talk at Colorado State on Oct. 30 About Hydropower in Latin America

Jaime Millan, doctoral alumnus and former visiting professor at Colorado State University, is returning at the end of October to talk about hydropower in Latin America as part of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series.

Millan will talk about "Developing Clean Hydropower in Latin America: Potential, Challenges and Contributions of Analytical Tools." His lecture will be at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Lory Student Center, Room 224-226.

Millan received a doctorate in Water Resources Planning from Colorado State in the 1970s. He has authored or co-authored three books on power-sector reform.

He retired last year from his work as the principal energy economist with the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. In the late 1990s, Millan ran an innovative program sponsored by the bank to support clean energy and energy efficiency.

Before beginning his 23-year career with the bank, he was a visiting professor at Colorado State.

Latin America gets more than 60 percent of its energy from hydroelectricity, which is a renewable energy source. The United States gets less than 10 percent of its energy from this source, said Neil Grigg, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State.

"As the U.S. struggles to deal with how to meet its increasing energy needs, Dr. Millan’s presentation will provide perspective on how this issue is being dealt with in developing countries as they look for sustainable sources of energy to meet their needs," Grigg said.

Millan can provide insight on hydropower as an alternative working in developing countries at a time when the United States is looking to increase domestic energy supply, Grigg said.

"Over the years, many people in the United States have criticized hydroelectric generation due to the impact of dams on the environment," said Luis Garcia, interim head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State. "Due to the energy crisis in the U.S. and global warming, many people are realizing the benefits of hydropower in providing renewable peaking power, which is among the most valuable sources of energy anywhere."

Garcia said that the rest of the world should learn from Latin America’s energy development and add on to that knowledge.

"As Latin American nations continue to develop, their development of hydro-electricity will be high on the radar screen of energy policy, which deserves attention from U.S. business, policy and environmental groups," Garcia said. "Lessons learned here could be applied in Latin America, and their experiences will be applicable to other developing nations in Asia and Africa."