A new report from Global Energy Monitor (GEM) predicts that if all potential projects planned in the region are launched, the current solar and wind power capacity could increase by 460% by 2030. This means that Latin America is on track to launch over 319 GW of solar and wind projects by 2030, accounting for 70% of the total electrical capacity growth in the region.
Latin America’s high potential for solar exposure and offshore wind development has drawn the attention of regional governments who have encouraged economic commitments with robust policy responses to climate change.
Brazil, Chile, and Colombia are leading the way in this green energy revolution, employing energy auctions, opening up private investments, and finding ways to decrease the cost of solar and wind installations.
Brazil, for instance, surpassed its ten-year plan launched in 2013 to implement 20 GW of wind power and 3.5 GW of utility-scale solar capacity by 2023, currently boasting 21.5 GW of operational onshore wind power and 5.4 GW of operational utility-scale solar power. Another 217 GW of capacity is slated to come online by 2030.
Colombia, on the other hand, aims to develop a 100% renewable electric grid by 2030, exceeding its goal of adding 4 GW of renewable energy to its grid by that year. The Global Energy Monitor report also notes that the transition could happen even more quickly under the leadership of President Gustavo Petro, who promised to speed up the energy transition and reduce the use of fossil fuel.
Despite promising progress, there are concerns about Mexico’s renewable energy plans, as recent policies from the López Obrador administration are limiting renewables growth and investing in fossil fuels with the aim of becoming more energy independent.
Chile, however, seems to be leaning towards a 100% renewable energy system by 2030, focusing on increasing solar in the Atacama region and offshore wind development in Patagonia.
If Latin American countries continue to enact green policies, the Global Energy Monitor report predicts that the region is on track to meet or surpass the regional 2030 net zero renewable energy goals assigned by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The wider 2050 goal depends on adopting clean technology by 2030, partly by scaling up solar and wind energy dependence.
Sophia Bauer, a researcher at Global Energy Monitor, believes that “Latin America can become a world benchmark for a just energy transition if future projects respect ecological balances and bring economic and social benefits.”
To further explore the potential of solar energy in Latin America, join our upcoming webinar titled “Speed up Solar Installations in Latin America,” which will be held on June 29th. The webinar aims to bring together experts and industry stakeholders from across the region to discuss strategies for accelerating solar installations and achieving a sustainable energy future.