Latin America and Caribbean solar markets to ‘explode’

Demand for solar energy across Latin America and the Caribbean is set to “explode” in the next few years. Analysts at NPD Solarbuzz have predicted solar demand to increase through […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Demand for solar energy across Latin America and the Caribbean is set to “explode” in the next few years.

Analysts at NPD Solarbuzz have predicted solar demand to increase through 2017, with an annual growth rate of 45%. The report by the market research group claims Mexico, Chile and Brazil are emerging as market leaders within the region, driven by a combination of policies implemented across the three countries. The forecast expects these three countries to have almost 70% of solar demand by 2017.

Chris Sunsong, Analyst at NPD Solarbuzz: “Historically, PV demand was confined to rural off-grid and niche applications but new renewable energy policies and incentive programmes are now opening up the region for strong PV deployment. Set against a backdrop of strong economic growth, expanding energy demand and increasing electricity prices, the conditions for PV adoption appear particularly attractive.”

However, the report also suggests a variety of “technical, economic and political obstacles” in some nations still needs to be addressed.

Mr Sunsong added: “PV connection and integration procedures are not yet clearly defined and there are concerns about grid stability as PV contributions come online. Electricity subsidies in Mexico and low natural gas prices in Peru are also delaying the onset of PV grid-parity for some end-user categories, while import tariffs across the region are keeping PV system costs on the high side.”

The report also suggested energy regulators would have received in excess of 6GW worth of PV project applications by the end of 2012.