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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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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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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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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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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Chilean government makes life harder for its renewable energy sector

Summary: Chile has a longstanding love of free markets — far more than anyone else in the region. And while this trait is one of the reasons clean energy investors have flocked to the country in the past, it has also led to losses, misapplied capital, and missed opportunities for growth. Investors are now thinking twice, as there seems to be inadequate support to allow for a coherent investment framework to take place.

Carlos St James 2016About the AuthorCarlos St. James is Managing Director of Santiago & Sinclair, LLC, 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; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time.

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Argentina’s renewable energy tender: Chinese supply chain finance wins the day

Summary: Argentina’s RenovAr Round One was a success, with 1109 MW of projects approved at credible prices for 20 year PPAs. But perhaps most noteworthy is that more than half of the winners are tied to Chinese firms, whose cost of technology and capital may set benchmarks that could be hard to match in future tenders.

carlos-miami-2016-croppedAbout 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; and publishes the Latin American Energy Review in his free time.

 He will be speaking at the upcoming Chile International Renewable Energy Conference in Santiago on October 17-20.

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Argentina’s RenovAr Renewable Energy Tender: Who’s in and at what prices?

Summary: Local developers are more prevalent than originally thought in Argentina’s RenovAr renewable energy tender, while foreigners have taken more of a wait-and-see attitude. But the level of oversubscription reveals significant interest in Latin America’s largest remaining undeveloped market. A survey also provides initial impressions on where prices will end up — much higher than for any of its neighbors — as well as a grading of the energy ministry’s work thus far.

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; 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 on September 21-23.

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