The issue of cost overruns and project delays in renewable energy projects in Latin America

Summary: Latin American renewable energy projects suffer fairly normal completion delays compared to other regions, but are far more likely to incur project cost overruns. A brief analysis of the problem — and a call to action to remedy.

About the publisherCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors, bankers and developers in emerging markets at Wood Group’s Sgurr Energy. He is also a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE) and publishes the Latin American Energy Review to help generate debate on the industry’s issues. His upcoming speaking engagements include:

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Biodiesel production becoming a zero-sum game

Summary: As diesel engines continue to lose ground against gasoline, the global biodiesel industry feels the pinch. Saddled with slow growth, a lack of technological advancement, little fresh investment and significant overcapacity, the industry increasingly turns on itself to fight for survival.

About the AuthorCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time to help generate debate on the industry’s issues.

He will speak at the LAC-CORE Clean Energy Finance Summit, June 13-15, 2017 in Miami, where industry leaders gather to discuss the sector’s issues. www.laccorefinancesummit.org.

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Colombia’s hurdles to developing a viable renewable energy sector

Summary: Despite its hydro-centric energy matrix, Colombia has yet to establish a true renewable energy sector. The government needs to address three key issues if investors are to take the country seriously: the capacity payment scheme needs restructuring; the transmission grid needs expanding into the Guajira peninsula; and the clubby oligopolistic nature of the electricity sector addressed. Until then, Colombia’s boast of a low carbon economy will remain more the result of fortuitous geography than of any concerted effort.

About the AuthorCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time to help generate debate on the industry’s issues.

He will speak at the LAC-CORE Clean Energy Finance Summit, June 13-15, 2017 in Miami, where the Colombian market and many other issues will be discussed.

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Russia using Latin American decoy to gain control of U.S. energy assets

Summary: Venezuela recently gave Russia’s oil company a lien on its U.S. assets — one of the ten largest refinery companies in the country — in exchange for what seems at first glance a remarkably small loan. Upon its inevitable default, Russia will have control over strategic energy assets in the U.S. This geopolitical gambit will have signifiant repercussions for all Latin America.

About the Author: Carlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005 through Santiago & Sinclair, LLC. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time to help generate debate on the industry’s issues.

He will speak at next year’s LAC-CORE Clean Energy Finance Summit to be held in June 13-15, 2017 in Miami, Florida, as well as at the Mexico International Renewable Energy Congress on May 8-12.

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Black Swans & Dragon Kings: Challenges for the electric vehicle sector in Latin America

Summary: The electric vehicle market is growing globally at rates that will likely have a disruptive effect on the oil & gas industry. But in Latin America, oil is a national resource and reserves are seen as a national patrimony; national oil companies also serve as politically useful cash cows. Unless redirected, they’re headed for collision.

About the Author: Carlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005 through Santiago & Sinclair, LLC. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; is a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE); and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time to help generate debate on the industry’s issues.

He will speak at the LAC-CORE Clean Energy Finance Summit to be held June 13-15, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

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Making sense of Mexico’s renewable energy auctions

Summary: As Mexico prepares for its 2017 auctions, the winners of the first two in 2016 merit a closer look — especially in light of heightened economic uncertainty in the country. These auctions have proven to be the most sophisticated in the region.

Carlos St JamesAbout the AuthorCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time.

He will speak at this year’s LAC-CORE Finance Summit to be held in June 13-15, 2017 in Miami, Florida. A must attend event!

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A brief analysis of Central America’s recent renewable energy growth

Summary: Central America’s renewable energy installed capacity grew by 23 % — 320 MW — in 2016. Commissioned wind projects finally passed the one gigawatt mark, with Vestas and Gamesa dominating the marketplace. And El Salvador announced auction winners — with surprising pricing results.

About the AuthorCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; and also publishes the Latin American Energy Review as a way to generate greater understanding and debate on these issues.

He will speak at the next LAC-CORE Finance Summit to be held in June 2017 in Miami, Florida.

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Why three European turbine manufacturers dominate Mexico’s wind energy sector

Summary: Mexico is proving to be the most exciting wind energy market in Latin America. The country ended 2016 with 3870 MW of installed wind capacity in which three firms – Gamesa, Acciona and Vestas – have a combined 90% market share. A brief analysis of the possible reasons for such concentration.

About the AuthorCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005 through Santiago & Sinclair, LLC. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time.

He will speak at next year’s LAC-CORE Finance Summit to be held in June 2017 in Miami, Florida.

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Middle Eastern investors begin doing business with the Latin American renewable energy sector

Summary: GCC countries are embarking on a new strategy that mimics the enormous success of China: using capital diplomacy to gain access to a larger share of the trade and investment pie of emerging markets. They have begun to seek out energy investment opportunities in Latin America.

Carlos St JamesAbout the AuthorCarlos St. James is an advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005 through Santiago & Sinclair, LLC. He co-founded the Middle East-Americas Energy Council in 2014; co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; and has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010. He publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time.

He will speak at next year’s LAC-CORE Finance Summit on June 15-17, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

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Argentina’s shotgun approach to renewables creates a buyer’s market for projects

Summary: RenovAr’s Round One and 1.5 were successful, but pricing is now below true country risk, distorted in part by low-cost Chinese capital supplying technology. This has created a buyer’s market for projects, which are burdened by two shortcomings: a lack of debt availability at favorable rates and imperfect project development.

Carlos St James 2016About the AuthorCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets since 2005 through Santiago & Sinclair, LLC. He co-founded and presided over the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber from 2005-2011; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE) since 2010; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time.

He will speak at the upcoming LAC-CORE Finance Summit to be held next June 2017 in Miami, Florida.

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