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Latin America: Photovoltaic and renewable (1st part)

12 December 2017

In the last decade, Latin America, region of enormous potential, confirms its definitive incorporation to renewable energies and especially to Solar Energy.

According to Solarenergy.org: Two million people work in the renewable energy sector in Latin America. 56% of the electricity produced in Latin America comes from renewable sources. In 2015 (the Paris Agreement) twenty-four Latin American countries sent plans to the UN aimed at acting on climate change. Twenty of them with objectives in renewable energy generation. By 2025, 50% of the electrical capacity could come from solar energy sources.

According to REN21. Renewables 2017 Global Status Report, "throughout Latin America, renewable energy supplies 35% of the heat demand, almost a quarter of which is combined with traditional biomass (mainly concentrated in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala , Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru), with significant variations according to the country. Some countries in the region depend to a large extent on renewable sources of industrial heat (mainly solid biomass and fuels such as bagasse and coal), including Paraguay (90% renewable), Uruguay (80%), Costa Rica (63%) and Brazil (54%). The use of solar thermal energy in the industry is growing rapidly in Mexico, where a total of 95 heat processing plants had been installed by the end of 2016. "

The North American consultant GTM Research issues a report entitled "Manual of Photovoltaics in Latin America", where it examines the evolution of this technology in the last decade:

According to this report, Latin America will reach 10% of the global demand for solar energy in 2020.

For renovablesverdes.com 04/18/2017, which echoes the aforementioned report: "from practically not having photovoltaic installations at the beginning of this decade to forecasts that augur more than 40 GW installed at the end".

Pv-magazine-latam.com titles its article published on 11/29/2017: "GTM Research: solar demand in Latin America will double in 2018."

We can see that by 2018, according to GTM Research, two Latin American countries (Mexico and Brazil) are positioned in the global solar energy demand ranking, according to pv-magazine in the aforementioned article. According to GTM Research, these two countries will surpass one GW of annual installed capacity.

Among the reasons that would explain this boom in photovoltaics in Latin America, is the price drop. This data is plotted in the aforementioned GTM report.

In the graph you can read that most of the hiring of Latin American photovoltaic in recent years is awarded to Mexico.

The GTM report provides some data on this: Chile, in August 2016, reached a new global minimum, at 29 dollars per MW / hour. In Mexico, 33 dollars per MW / h. In El Salvador, prices are decreasing exponentially in recent years and where ftv even exceeds wind power. Argentina has awarded allotments -included in the RenovAr Plan- to ftv projects, with averages of 66 dollars per MW / h, with a decrease expected up to 50 dollars. Argentina, Chile, (...) saw very low offers for photovoltaic solar energy in 2016 and early 2017, reports REN21. Renewables 2017 Global Status Report, p. 69


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