Buoyed by rapid technology cost reductions and the consolidation of renewable energy policies, Latin America hosts some of the world’s most dynamic renewable energy markets, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).
The report titled “Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America” finds that the region – endowed with some of the world’s best renewable resources – has an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the uptake of renewables across all sectors.
“The proven business case of renewables, combined with the imperative to decarbonise the energy sector, provides a compelling rationale for Latin American countries to continue deploying more renewables, including solar and wind,” said Irena director-general Adnan Z Amin.
“Policymakers also increasingly recognise renewables as a catalyst for job creation, GDP growth, development of local industries, and energy access. Add the environmental benefits – and the fact that nearly 2 million people are employed by renewables in the region – and the case for renewables is even more compelling.”
In 2015, Brazil, Chile and Mexico ranked among the top ten markets in terms of renewable energy investment. Latin America holds some of the most cost-competitive hydropower, solar and wind resources globally and today, more than a quarter of the region’s total primary energy comes from renewables, twice the global average.
The report offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive review of the status and trends in the region’s renewable energy development that are enabling this success. It compiles the region’s wealth of knowledge, draws key lessons from its experience, and outlines key findings that can support the continued regional expansion of renewables across all sectors.
These include: catalysing public and private finance, adapting policies to dynamic market conditions, adopting a system-level approach in the power sector, harnessing complementarities across technologies, unlocking the potential for renewable sources in end-use sectors, and fully recognising the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy deployment.
“The good news is that the success achieved in Latin America, and the benefits realised, can be even further enhanced with the right policies being established,” added Amin. “Latin America’s advanced renewable energy policies and financing schemes also offer valuable insights for other energy markets around the world, especially as countries seek to scale up renewables to achieve emission reduction targets under the Paris climate agreement.”