Latin America’s renewable energy investment shifts towards Sonoran sun and Patagonian wind

Summary: With Brazil’s economic and political woes continuing, investors are migrating to both ends of Latin America – towards Mexico in the north and to the southern cone countries of Chile and Argentina – for their next round of investments in solar and wind. Each of these markets represent different risks and rewards.

About the publisherCarlos St. James is a leading advisor to energy investors, bankers and developers in emerging markets at Wood Group. 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.

The region’s single most important event is the upcoming LAC-CORE Clean Energy Finance Summit, held in Miami, Florida this coming June 13-15, where investors and bankers discuss the industry’s outlook. See you there!

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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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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 the Latin American renewable energy sector needs to convene

Summary: The Latin American renewable energy sector has developed well in part because of solid institutions and increasing access to transparent information. The next step in its evolution is an annual event where the regional  industry can meet to celebrate its successes, to honor its leaders, and to debate the issues.  That event will take place in Miami this October.

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

 He was recently named Summit Chairman of the upcoming LAC-CORE Finance Summit held at the Ritz Carlton in Miami, Florida this October 3-5.

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Making sense of Central America’s renewable energy sector

Summary: Central America has received over $3.5 billion in renewable energy investment in the last three years. While offtaker risk is often high and individual markets slow to respond, an existing regional transmission grid is creating a significant market where risk is leveled off; this is where greater focus needs to be placed for more opportunities to arise.

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

He was recently named Summit Chairman of the upcoming LAC-CORE Finance Summit in Miami, Florida in October 2016, in which various Central American governments, renewables associations and developers will play an active role.

LAC-CORE Finance Summit

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Dismantling Energy Subsidies in Latin America

Summary: The drop in oil prices creates a unique opportunity for some Latin American and Caribbean nations to reduce their costly energy subsidies. The region’s most populist governments – including Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia — have by far the highest and therefore represent the best opportunities for change. The why and how this needs to take place, using Argentina as the first agent of change.

Carlos St James closeupAbout the AuthorCarlos St. James is an advisor to energy investors and developers in emerging markets. He founded the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber in 2005; has been a board member of the Latin American & Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy since 2010; founded the Middle East-Americas Energy Council in 2014; and is publisher of the Latin American Energy Review.

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Panama’s Current Energy Situation, Leaning Towards Renewable Energies

Panama’s energy policy has as its primary goal encouraging the supply of energy to cover the country’s needs using energy efficiency, quality and trust as rincipal criteria while expanding access to services to energy consumers, promoting rationl and efficient use of energy and development of natural resources in a sustainable manner, protecting the environment and respecting the rights of investors in the sector.

The Panamanian government, in it’s commitment to diversify the energy matrix, impulses the electrical generation through renewable energies in the hopes of developing sustainable energy nationwide.

The Panamanian electric system is made up of three sectors: Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, where in the first sector we possess an installed capacity s follows: 61.3% hydro and 38.7% thermal and there are twenty nine private businesses registered en the wholesale market. Also, in the Transmission sector there is a monopoly in the form of the government-owned Empresa Estatal de Transmision S.A. (ETESA), whose tolls are regulated, and the Distribution sector has three registered companies and a national coverage of 90%.

Debido a la gran dependencia de generación térmica existente en el país y a que solo contamos en la actualidad con energía hidráulica, el Gobierno Panameño impulsa el desarrollo de proyectos eólicos, solares, de generación a base de gas natural y de biocombustibles, entre otros. De esta manera en el corto plazo se tienen proyecciones de hasta 540 MW de energía hidráulica, 220 MW de energía eólica y 5 MW de energía solar. De igual forma, en el mediano y largo plazo se pretenden construir 230MW adicionales de energía hidráulica, 100 MW adicionales de energía eólica y 600MW de generación térmica a base de gas natural y carbón, entre otros.

Adicionalmente, con la modificación a la ley de Biocombustibles, se deberá incluir un 5% de etanol en la mezcla de gasolina a partir del 1 de septiembre de 2013 en la Provincia de Panamá, incrementándose hasta un 10% en el 2016 a nivel nacional.

Due to the great dependency of the generation of termal energy that exists in the country and that we only actually count on hydraulic energy, the Panamanian government looks for the development of eolic and solar projects and on the generation of naturalgas and biofuel, among other sources of green energy. That way in the short term they have projected up to 540 MW of hydraulic energy, 220 MW of eolic energy, and 5 MW of solar energy. In the same way, in the médium and long term plan they seek to construct 230 MW aditional hydraulic energy, 100 MW aditional eolic energy, and a 600 MW generation of termal energy based in natural gas and carbón, among others. Aditionally, with the modification of the Biofuels law, they should be including a 5% of ethanol going up tp 10% in 2016 at a national level.

Además de la diversificación energética, el Gobierno de Panamá impulsa el uso racional y eficiente de la energía a través de la Ley 69 de 2012, que establece los lineamientos generales de la política nacional para el uso racional y eficiente de la energía (UREE) en el territorio nacional, cuya finalidad es proponer medidas necesarias para lograr reducir el gasto en energía y con ello mejorar los niveles de competitividad dentro de los sectores industrial, comercial y la sociedad en general, al igual que disminuir la dependencia de los combustibles fósiles tradicionales y sus derivados.

The Panamanian government also seeks the rational and efficient use of energy through the 69 law of 2012, which established the underlying guidelines of national politics for the rational and efficient use of the (UREE) energy on national territory, with the goal being to go through necessary lengths to reduce the cost of energy and to improve the competition between the industrial, commerical, and social sectors in general and to diminish dependance on traditional fossil fuels and their derivatives.

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