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Published on September 30th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill

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Latin America And Caribbean Region Expected To Install 9 GW Of Solar In 5 Years

September 30th, 2014 by  


That solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is poised to become a dominant energy generation technology throughout the world is of no surprise to most, but the sheer wealth of possibility being forecast throughout the middle and southern hemispheres begins to give an idea of just how prevalent the technology will be by the end of the decade.

Figures published by NPD Solarbuzz have so far predicted that several of the major Asia Pacific nations will account for 60% of solar PV demand in 2014, while being primary drivers of growth over the next several years, at the same time as the Middle East and Africa region currently has close to 12 GW of solar demand in the pipeline.

So it should really come as no surprise that NPD Solarbuzz’s recent figures show that the Latin America and Caribbean region is set to install 9 GW of solar PV over the next five years.

Latin America and Caribbean Five-Year Cumulative Demand Forecast by Project Status

latin america caribbean

“Solar PV is now starting to emerge as a preferred energy technology for Latin American and Caribbean countries,” said Michael Barker, senior analyst at NPD Solarbuzz. “The region has high electricity prices and it also benefits from strong solar irradiation, which makes it a good candidate for solar PV deployment. As a result, experienced global solar PV developers are seeing strong solar PV growth potential in the region.”

NPD Solarbuzz’s Emerging PV Markets Report: Latin America and Caribbean shows that the total PV project pipeline now exceeds 22 GW of projects across all stages of development — with 1 GW of projects already under construction, and another 5 GW of projects have received the appropriate approval to proceed.

The Latin America and Caribbean region was previously home to many small-scale and off-grid solar PV applications, however governments are now looking to solar PV to address large-scale utility power requrements — specifically in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.

“Many countries across the LAC region have the potential to develop into major solar PV markets in the future,” added Barker. “While project pipelines vary by country, there is a strong contribution from early-stage developments that have yet to finalize supply deals or find end-users to purchase the generated electricity, which presents both risks and opportunities for industry players.”

A number of countries throughout the developing and second-world countries are turning to renewable energy technologies to develop strong, future-proof, and economically efficient energy generation. Such a trend is being backed by major manufacturing companies who are focusing their efforts on these regions, hoping to increase their own profits while fulfilling renewable energy demand.


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  • JamesWimberley

    Ony two-thirds as many projects in “pre-planning” as approved? That can’t be right, unless the market is collapsing, which is clearly not the case. Even in a steady state, you would expect the number of projects under study to be a multiple of those implemented. More likely, developers are not prepared to reveal to Solarbuzz the range of prospects they are looking at. When thy file an application with regulators, it’s public knowledge and the answers will normally be truthful. Not all approved projects will be implemented, if they depend on expectations about prices that don’t pan out. But most will, sometime; the project file is already a substantial investment.

    • Matt

      The big question on the “approved” group what portion have all the post approval duck in a row. Connection agreements with grid, PPAs?, funding locked in, etc.

      • JamesWimberley

        The situation must vary a lot. If the project is in the Atacama desert, with no grid connection, you must start with a letter of intent from a mining company. In Brazil, with reverse PPA auctions, approval essentially means winning the bid. In the USA, some plants are built on a merchant basis for sale into the spot market, so the approval hurdles are land use and connection.

        It’s not realistic to expect Solarbuzz to offer this level of detail. I suggest we assume that developers on the whole know what they are doing, count the ducks properly, and don’t spend a lot of money on duds. The one feasible number that might be useful would be a percentage of approved projects that are still not implemented after 5 years.

    • Interesting comment. Too bad Solarbuzz doesn’t give an extra note about that and perhaps some kind of additional guestimate.

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