Challenges and opportunities for renewable energy in Latin America

The balance of non-conventional renewable energies in Latin America once again reflects vigorous growth in 2016, exceeding US$8bn of which the lion’s share goes to wind power, with around 70% of the total investment volume. In the last five years, cumulative installed wind power for the whole region has almost increased fivefold, standing at almost 19,000 MW as at the end of 2016. Interestingly, 80% of that potential is distributed between two large markets, Brazil and Mexico, with a further 15% of the total shared between Chile and Uruguay. This latter country has the highest uptake of wind power generation in the sub-continent’s electrical system, with over 24% of all the country’s electricity needs supplied by wind power during 2016.


This increase in the consumption of electricity produced from non-conventional renewable energy sources, is a trend that is only evident where energy policies have been implemented designed to eliminate barriers to the entry of new technologies into the power markets. The measures undertaken have made it possible to sustainably and repeatedly activate investments in this economic activity. In most cases, these measures have not included support for the prices of power generation from these sources.

The four markets that captured over 90% of total investments in the region have all reinforced their policies, by adopting more ambitious targets, rolling-out programmes and designing regulatory mechanisms to increase the deployment of these energy sources in their electricity systems. Read more…

Ramón Fiestas
President of the Latin American Committee, Global Wind Energy Council

Article published in: FuturENERGY June 2017