Friday, April 17, 2015

The ABCs of Latin American Renewable Energy (Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica)

Throughout Latin America renewable energy is growing and there is huge untapped potential. From tiny island states like Bonaire to large countries like Brazil renewable energy is reshaping the energy map of the region. In Latin America there are five primary sources of renewable energy: Solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass.

Central America possesses a wealth of renewable energy potential particularly in electricity generation. Renewable energy development is becoming a central part of the economic, development and poverty alleviation strategies of all Central American countries.

A 2012 report suggests that interconnected and integrated renewable energy infrastructure in Central America can decrease reliance on fossil fuels, increase energy security, grow the green economy and minimize poverty.

Here is a review of three Latin American nations, (Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica)


Argentina has not really begun to exploit its massive renewable energy reserves. Current installed capacity stands at only 32 MW, the government is targeting 1.2 GW by 2016. Some Argentinian provinces have introduced local tax incentives. The province of Chubut for example has approved legislative incentives designed to spur the build-out of an estimated 2.2-GW pipeline.

Argentina has huge unexploited renewable energy potential in both solar and wind power. Argentina’s eastern plains and north western regions are ideal for solar PV development. Only 10 MW of solar has been installed in Argentina. The Government has set a target of generating 3.3 GW of solar power by 2020. Argentina has huge swaths of unexploited areas ideal for wind turbines particularly in the southern Patagonia region. More than half of the country is suitable to the production of wind energy.


Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America and it is a global biomass leader with vast renewable energy potential. The nation has a fast growing economy along with fast growing energy needs. Brazil has recently announced significant increases in its renewable energy commitments. 

Costa Rica

Recently in 2015, for a period of 75 consecutive days Costa Rica was able to meet all of its electric power demand using only low cost renewable energy (hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar). In 2014 the country generated 80 percent of its power from renewable sources. That is up from only 13 percent in 2010. New geothermal projects will increase the nation's renewable energy capacity.

For a more complete review of the renewable energy potential of each Latin American country click here.

Moving Towards 100% Renewables in the US
Renewable Energy in Africa and the Middle East
Asian Renewable Energy (China, India Japan, South Korea)
Australia Can Go 100% Renewable Due to Falling Costs
Investors in Renewables Flee Australia Causing Job Losses
Australian State Meets Energy Needs with Renewables
Australia Can Dump Coal and Adopt Renewables
Canada Could Get All of Its Electricity from Renewables
Europe Moving Towards 100 percent Renewable Energy
Growth of Renewable Energy in 2015 and Beyond
One of the Best Years Ever for Renewable Energy in 2014
2014 Year End Review: Renewable Energy Achievements

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