12 January 2018 | Articles
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Latin America hosts some of the world’s most dynamic renewable energy markets, with more than a quarter of primary energy coming from renewables, twice the global average. In addition to the historical role of hydropower and pioneering moves with biofuels, countries in the region are significantly scaling up other renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and biomass-based electricity. Brazil, Chile and Mexico ranked amongst the top ten global renewable energy markets in terms of investment in 2015, and several countries in the region, like Costa Rica, Uruguay and Paraguay, generate virtually all electricity through renewables.
Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America offers a comprehensive review of the status and trends in the region’s renewable energy development. The report, prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), highlights Latin America’s wealth of knowledge, draws key lessons, and outlines findings to support the continued expansion of renewables for power generation, transport and other end-uses.
The study reviews and analyses renewable energy policies across all uses, which feature among the most innovative in the world. These policies, coupled with recent renewable energy technology cost reductions and broader energy drivers such as energy diversification and climate change, have played a decisive role in the rapid uptake of renewables in the region. The report also assesses the framework for finance and investment in the sector. While specific characteristics vary from country to country, success depends on some common attributes, including access to affordable finance for renewables.
The significant role of hydropower in several Latin American countries, meanwhile, creates opportunities to harness complementarities and scale up other renewable energy technologies. The report includes an in-depth analysis of the mechanisms through which hydropower and other renewables can complement each other and can improve the cost-efficiency and reliability of power systems.
While the report aims to provide insights for policy makers and energy professionals in the region, it also outlines valuable lessons from Latin America for the rest of the world. Along with recommendations on creating the essential enabling conditions, Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America highlights the widespread socio-economic benefits of the transition to renewables.