The troubling trend towards increased speculation in the Latin American renewable energy sector

Summary: Many emerging market governments – including those in Latin America — are unwittingly promoting speculation in their renewable energy auctions, with developers and lenders getting caught up in it as well. This has a destabilizing effect on the energy sector and ultimately does not serve citizens’ or investors’ best interests. A brief analysis of the situation with recommendations.

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

He will next be speaking at the Andean Renewable Energy Congress in Bogota, Colombia, November 14-17, 2017.

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La Cámara de Compensación, Mexico’s new renewable energy clearinghouse

Summary: As Mexico’s third renewable energy auction looms, a significant change is taking place as part of its energy reforms: the offtaker is changing from a single established government entity, CFE, to a new clearinghouse with many buyers. Will investors learn to love their new counterparty? A brief analysis of the new Cámara’s structure and purpose.

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. His upcoming speaking engagements include:

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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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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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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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U.S. policies will accelerate investment in renewable energy – in emerging markets

Summary: The new U.S. administration’s policies will result in a temporary decline in investment in renewable energy in the United States. This will prove a boon to emerging markets, hungry for more capital. But perhaps most significant is that these decisions open the door to what may be the most significant geopolitical opportunity of the 21st century: leadership in clean energy.

Carlos St James 2016About the AuthorCarlos St. James is Managing Director of Santiago & Sinclair, LLC, a research and financial advisory firm to energy investors in emerging markets. He is a co-founder of the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber; 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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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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Cuba’s new renewable energy market in need of capital

Summary: Cuba is being courted by numerous governments seeking to gain influence for the country’s significant energy investment needs. But given the lack of traditional development bank funding, there is an opportunity for creative capital sources and for Latin American countries to come to Cuba’s aid and take a leadership role in the renewable energy sector — especially sugarcane bagasse biomass and ethanol.

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 to be held at the Ritz Carlton in Miami, Florida this October 3-5 and which will include a keynote from Delice Moreno Garcia, Director General of INEL, Cuba’s engineering company and part of its Ministry of Energy and Mines. INEL is responsible for assessing all technical aspects of the influx of renewable energy investment onto the island.

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Why the Argentine government is clamping down on electricity demand

Summary: Argentina’s energy crisis may take longer to resolve than initially thought. The government has begun a campaign to reduce demand in what is perhaps the single most important culprit of the country’s energy crisis: runaway residential demand. They may have to soften the messaging to be successful.

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, and will also be speaking at the Argentina International Clean Energy Congress in September.

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Can Argentina’s Energy Sector Come Out of Crisis Mode?

The Inter-American Dialogue was kind enough to ask me to answer a question on Argentina for their latest publication. I copy below the question and my response.

About the Author: Carlos 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 held at the Ritz Carlton in Miami, Florida this Oct. 3-5.

LAC-CORE Finance SummitHe will also be speaking at the Argentina International Clean Energy Congress in September as well as at the the Chile International Clean Energy Congress Week in mid-October.

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