LATAM and Caribbean to install 9 GW PV within 5 years

Solar analysts NPD Solarbuzz have reported today that the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC) will install 9 GW of solar PV within five years as the technology plays a leading role in meeting the region’s growing thirst for energy.

According to the latest report, titled Emerging PV Markets Report: Latin America & Caribbean, NPD Solarbuzz have calculated a growing PV pipeline that now exceeds 22 GW. Of that figure, 9 GW will be added over the next five years, with 1 GW already under construction and a further 5 GW of projects in the final planning and approval stages.

Although previously hamstrung by a lack of viable financing options and a restricted thirst for energy, the LAC region has developed rapidly, both in economic terms and technical and financial maturity. Where previously the PV sector was confined to small-scale and off-grid applications, today there is unprecedented demand for large-scale PV installations in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and elsewhere.

A number of international solar companies have been attracted to the LAC region’s potential, further accelerating its PV development. Many leading U.S. solar companies have a notable presence in the region, including First Solar, SunPower and SunEdisol, while European developers such as Mainstream, Enel and Solaria have helped transform many markets’ potential.

"Solar PV is now starting to emerge as a preferred energy technology for Latin America and Caribbean countries," said NPD Solarbuzz senior analyst Michael Barker. "The region has high electricity prices and it also benefits from strong solar irradiation, which makes it a good candidate for solar PV deployment. As a result, experienced global solar PV developers are seeing the strong solar PV growth potential in the region."

Project pipelines vary by country, but the strength of early-stage developments that have yet to finalize supply deals or identify end-users to purchase the power produced represents a strong opportunity for many international industry players, Barker added.