Why Argentina may be LatAm's most attractive renewables market

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Argentina has "perhaps the largest upside" of any of Latin America's renewable energy markets, an expert told BNamericas.

"Brazil's market is on hold; Chile's is hyper-competitive, so is Mexico's; and Colombia hasn't taken off yet," said Carlos St James, founder of the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber, in BNamericas' latest electric power Intelligence Series report.

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The report, titled, Get in while you can: The time for Argentine renewables is now, cites the convergence of chronic underinvestment in the local energy sector during the previous government, market-friendly reforms undertaken by the current government and plummeting renewable energy costs generally as contributing to the country's attractiveness for clean energy investors.

Argentina's renewable energy law 27,191 also mandates a 20% renewable-powered grid by 2025, up from under 2% currently.

St James said the lowest bid in Argentina's Renovar Ronda 1 and Ronda 1.5 renewable energy tenders last year was US$46/MWh, for a wind farm, versus bids of US$29/MWh for solar projects in comparable auctions in Mexico and Chile.

"If you believe that Argentina continues to be a boom and bust economy, then understand that we are at the beginning of another boom," he said.

Argentine authorities plan to launch RenovAr Ronda 2 in the second half of this year.

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