December 21, 2017

Brazil to Dominate Latin America’s Wind Power Market in 2018

Latin American wind has grown swiftly in recent years to almost 20 GW by August 2017, with 80 percent of installed capacity in Brazil and Mexico.

Senior analyst for Latin America at MAKE Consulting, Brian Gaylord told Renewable Energy World that MAKE expects Latin America to rebound next year, with 4 GW of new wind power capacity.

“Over the next decade, we forecast more than 46 GW of new cumulative wind power capacity throughout Latin America,” Gaylord said. “Brazil will once again be the leader in Latin America in 2018 in terms of new connected wind power. The top five markets, in order, should be rounded out by Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru.”

Gaylord highlights Argentina as a market to watch in 2018.

“This will be the first major year for new renewable capacity being commissioned that is associated with its RenovAr program,” he said. “Based upon order activity and improved financing conditions, we expect it to be more fruitful than the largely unsuccessful GENREN program. Still, we are concerned about local content rules that could delay and potentially derail progress.”

Gaylord added that Argentina would benefit from movement on new transmission capacity planning to avoid grid bottlenecks in the future.

Steve Sawyer, secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), agrees.

“I think 2018 could see beginnings of what could be a very large build out of the wind sector in Argentina with around 1.8 GW in the pipeline — much of which is expected to come online in 2018,” Sawyer said.

Potential for new development is also found in Mexico and Colombia. Of the latter, Sawyer said, GWEC is watching the region closely.

“It’s at least conceivable that the next significant market in the region could be Colombia,” he said.
Gaylord said that there is hope for the Colombian government to follow through on its public statement regarding hosting its first renewable power auction in 2018.

“Mexico should have a strong year in terms of new wind power installations as well, as we expect a new record there,” Gaylord said. “The global wind and PV industries are very interested in observing if the projects awarded [power purchase agreements] at the long-term Mexican auctions can be built successfully and profitability given the low pricing bid by developers there.”

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