Brazil and Chile

LatAm needs 14GW a year in new power projects - BNamericas report

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Latin America needs to add 14GW a year of installed generation capacity during the next two decades to meet rising power demand, according to the latest BNamericas electric power Intelligence Series report.

Electricity consumption in the region is set to nearly double in the period, reaching 1.55TWh in 2035, BNamericas data shows.

According to the report, hydroelectric generation will play a vital role in Latin America's future generation park, despite ongoing environmental and social concerns.

"Though the threat of drought is very real, particularly given the as yet unknown realities of climate change, it should not be a barrier to future development," the report said.

"Estimates suggest that the addition of nearly 300GW in new generation capacity will be required to meet this demand, and there is clearly an opportunity for hydro development to continue growing thanks to Latin America's strong resource potential."

Hydroelectric projects are expected to make up 40% of new capacity over the period with investments totaling US$281bn.

The report predicts energy developers will overcome social and environmental obstacles that have plagued projects such as Chile's proposed 2.75GW HydroAysén and the 11.2GW Belo Monte plant being built in Brazil's Amazon.

Financial lenders are expected to remain willing to back hydropower projects due to a lack of viable alternatives, the report added.

The full Intelligence Series report can be seen here.

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