Why Argentina may be LatAm's most attractive renewables market

Monday, May 15, 2017

Argentina has "perhaps the largest upside" of any of Latin America's renewable energy markets, an expert told BNamericas.

"Brazil's market is on hold; Chile's is hyper-competitive, so is Mexico's; and Colombia hasn't taken off yet," said Carlos St James, founder of the Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber, in BNamericas' latest electric power Intelligence Series report.

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The report, titled, Get in while you can: The time for Argentine renewables is now, cites the convergence of chronic underinvestment in the local energy sector during the previous government, market-friendly reforms undertaken by the current government and plummeting renewable energy costs generally as contributing to the country's attractiveness for clean energy investors.

Argentina's renewable energy law 27,191 also mandates a 20% renewable-powered grid by 2025, up from under 2% currently.

St James said the lowest bid in Argentina's Renovar Ronda 1 and Ronda 1.5 renewable energy tenders last year was US$46/MWh, for a wind farm, versus bids of US$29/MWh for solar projects in comparable auctions in Mexico and Chile.

"If you believe that Argentina continues to be a boom and bust economy, then understand that we are at the beginning of another boom," he said.

Argentine authorities plan to launch RenovAr Ronda 2 in the second half of this year.