*The 2016 key findings report is available in Portuguese here.
The REN21 Renewables 2016 Global Status Report indicates that countries across Latin America and the Caribbean continue to have some of the world’s highest targeted shares for renewable energy deployment. The Renewables 2016 Global Status Report is the world’s most frequently referenced annual report on the global renewable energy market, and the industry and policy landscape. It has been published since 2005 by the REN21 Secretariat, relying on a multi-stakeholder network of 700 renewable energy, energy access and energy efficiency experts that collectively share its insight and knowledge. The REN21 reports can be downloaded here. A Spanish version of the 2016 key findings can be found here.
Latin America and the Caribbean remain at the forefront of the use of competitive bidding for renewable energy project allocations, with many tenders attracting record-setting participation. Several countries – including Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Peru – held successful tenders in 2015 and early 2016, resulting in some of the world’s lowest bid prices, due in part to the region’s vast renewable energy resources.
Brazil was third in the world in total electricity generation with renewable energy in 2015, after China and the USA, while Costa Rica generated 99% of its electricity with renewable sources, and Uruguay generated 92.8%, out of which 15.5% was from wind alone.
Brazil was second globally in installing new hydropower capacity in 2015 (after China, which has been responsible for installing half of world’s new hydro capacity annually) and fourth in installing new wind power capacity.
Nine countries in Latin America added nearly 4.4 GW of wind power capacity to reach about 15.3 GW. Brazil (2.8 GW) was responsible for about 57% of the region’s market, and ended the year with 8.7 GW. Brazil was followed by Mexico (adding 0.7 GW to pass 3 GW), Uruguay (adding 0.3 GW), and Panama (adding 0.2 GW).
Mexico was in third place in the world in terms of adding geothermal power capacity in 2015 (representing 17% of all added geothermal capacity, just after Turkey and the USA) and fourth in accumulated installed geothermal power capacity.
Brazil was third in installations of solar water heating collectors in 2015 and fifth in cumulative installations of such solar collectors. Barbados was fourth in solar water heating collector capacity per capita.
Brazil, the world’s second largest biofuel producer, increased both ethanol and biodiesel production during 2015, due to good sugarcane harvests and blending mandates. Brazil is fourth in the world in biopower generation. Argentina ranked fourth in the world in biodiesel production.
Biomass-based heat accounts for almost a third of industrial heat production in Latin America. Honduras, Uruguay, and Jamaica ranked respectively second, third, and fifth in the world in investment in renewable power and biofuels per unit of GDP.
As far as jobs in the renewable energy sector are concerned, Brazil is among the leading employers for all technologies. Most employment in renewables is in bioenergy and large-scale hydropower, however in the wind sector jobs are increasing due to rising deployment and local manufacturing. Elsewhere in Latin America, jobs also are increasing in the wind and solar sectors.
The renewable energy development seen to date is just a starting point for Latin America. Argentina, for example, has just announced auctioning of 1 GW of electric capacity from renewables. The renewable energy potential in Latin America is huge, and many countries embark on an energy transition with renewables and energy efficiency.
REN21 is proud to work closely with the SE4All initiative to achieve the three SE4All objectives by 2030: (i) to ensure universal access to modern energy services; (ii) to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency (EE); and, (iii) to double the share of renewable energy (RE) in the global energy mix.
The IDB collaborates with REN21 every year and acts as the SE4All hub for Latin America and the Caribbean, helping the region reach these three objectives in collaboration with other key regional organizations such as the UNDP, ECLAC and OLADE.