Latin America hosts some of the most dynamic renewable energy markets in the world, with more than a quarter of primary energy coming from renewables, twice the global average.
Power sectors in the region are characterised by a high dependence on hydropower, and exploiting the complementarity between hydropower and variable renewable energy sources is a key leveraging factor for all renewables in Latin America. Countries are beginning to address diversification efforts in electricity systems, and are working to create more enabling policy and regulatory environments. In this context, recent auctions in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Peru have helped to accelerate the deployment of thousands of megawatts of wind and solar energy in the region.
Total investment in power generation reached almost USD 120 billion between 2010 and 2015, including USD 38 billion for large-scale hydropower. Costs for renewable energy technologies have fallen to the extent that solar and onshore wind power no longer need financial support to compete with conventional power generation in a growing number of Latin American countries.
Rapid cost reductions, maturing technologies and further renewable energy policy reforms offer an unprecedented opportunity to further tap the vast renewable energy potential in the region.
IRENA’s support in Latin America includes the following national and regional programmes and initiatives:
- Clean Energy Corridor of Central America (CECCA) supports the accelerated deployment and cross-border trade of renewable power in Central America, in the context of the regional electricity market and regional transmission system (SIEPAC line).
- Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA), which assesses the suitability of conditions in different countries for the development and deployment of renewable energy, along with the actions required to improve those conditions. RRAs which have been completed in Latin America and the Caribbean can be found under "Quick Links" on the right. RRAs in the region that have been completed include Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru.
- Renewable Energy Market Analysis: Latin America was published by IRENA and serves as a comprehensive review of the status and trends in the region’s renewable energy development. The report highlights Latin America’s wealth of knowledge, draws key lessons, and outlines findings to support the continued expansion of renewables for power generation, transport and other end-uses.
The Regional Action Plan for Latin America (Spanish version available), was presented at the High-level Meeting on Renewable Energy Deployment in Latin America during pre-Assembly day at the 9th Session of IRENA’s Assembly. The Plan identifies key barriers to renewable energy development in Latin America and provides a framework for IRENA’s regional-level engagements in the near to medium-term and includes a listing of concrete action areas, such as renewable energy policy and regulation, project development and finance, long-term planning, power system flexibility, grid integration of variable renewable energy, regional roadmaps and geothermal energy deployment