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Clean energy investment booming in Latin America, led by Mexico

Date
02 May 2013
Clean energy investment booming in Latin America, led by Mexico

LONDON: Clean energy investment is booming in Latin America with a huge US$4.6 billion recorded in 2012, signalling the region’s potential to lead the global clean revolution.

The investment is a 127% increase on 2011, according to data that has been released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) ahead of this week’s Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Latin America and Caribbean in Miami.

Latin America’s clean energy finance growth is led by the following countries:

  • Mexico topped clean energy investment, rocketing 595% on 2011 levels to hit US$1.9 billion
  • Chile saw the second biggest growth of 313% to US$1 billion
  • Uruguay increased 313% to reach US$105 million
  • Peru climbed 175% to a total of US$643 million
  • The total figures do not include Brazil, which alone boasted total financial investments in clean energy of US$5.2 billion. 

Maria Gabriela da Rocha Oliveira, Head of Latin America Research and Analysis at BNEF said: “The increased investment in non-Brazil Latin America was driven by increased activity by the Inter-American Development Bank. Additionally, European players, both project developers and manufacturers, have become more active in the region given grim conditions at home."

Carlos St. James, president of the Latin American and Caribbean Council on Renewable Energy (LAC-CORE) and CEO of VOLA Investments LLC said: "As investments in clean energy declined in 2012 due to the ongoing financial crisis, the sector was actually growing in most of Latin America. This is a huge boon for clean energy finance and the region, which we expect to continue to grow. The most exciting trend is that this has moved beyond Brazil, with other countries now seeing amazing growth and potential."

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “Not only does this huge growth not count the region’s largest economy, Brazil, it is all the more impressive considering the 11% drop in clean energy financing that the rest of the world experienced in the same period, as reported by BNEF in January. While the overall decline helped drive international businesses towards the more promising markets in Latin America, these emerging economies are investing in clean energy because they see the opportunity of secure energy, lower technology costs, quick installation and sustainable growth. Clean energy investment has driven job creation and is seen by many as the key the long-term competitiveness. 

“2012’s clean energy investment surge reflects Latin America’s potential to lead the global clean revolution, but national policies must continue to give green investors the incentives and stability they’re looking for to maintain a steady growth in 2013 and beyond.”

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