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Latin America's installed wind capacity could grow up to 40-fold by 2050 as the region capitalizes on gusty conditions and falling costs, according to a new report.
In an advanced scenario, Latin American wind farms will total 481.5GW by the middle of the century, up from 12.2GW today, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in its biannual flagship publication.
Meanwhile global capacity in a best-case outlook would reach 5,806GW, up from 433GW today.
Such growth would require investment of US$275bn a year, creating over 4mn jobs annually, according to GWEC.
GWEC said its advanced scenario assumed that "a broad, clear commitment to the decarbonisation of the electricity sector emerges quickly" following the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
"The future is now and the cost issue is all but gone," GWEC said. "It is merely now a question of summoning the political will to put together the programs and policies which will enable the smoothest transition to a global energy system based on renewable energy, led by wind.
"This is necessary in order to meet [the] challenge of climate change, to preserve our precious fresh water resources, make our cities liveable again, and create new industries, new jobs and greater security for our citizens and our economies. "
GWEC said global installed wind capacity grew 17% year-on-year in 2015 to 433GW.
China topped the list with 145GW followed by the US (74GW), Germany (45GW), India (25GW) and Spain (23GW).
Brazil is the South American leader with more than 10GW, with Chile and Uruguay next, having surpassed 1GW this year. Mexico added 713.6MW of new capacity in 2015 to take its total to 3.073GW.
"The demand for clean energy bolstered by concerns for energy security and diversity of supply will promote the growth of wind power in Latin America and the Caribbean," the report added.