(SeeNews) - Aug 12, 2014 - Mexico and Central America are expected to install more than 1 GW of fresh wind power capacity in 2014 and thus become regional leaders in clean energy investment, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said on Monday.
The previous record for the region was 757 MW of wind capacity additions for 2012. The expansion in the wind segment will be even greater in 2015 and 2016 with 1.3 GW of installations in each of the two years, BNEF said. As for solar, fresh capacity this year is forecast at just 193 MW in Mexico and the six main countries of Central America, while it is seen to jump to 355 MW in 2015 and 456 MW in 2016.
Renewables are “becoming a key plank in the region’s energy policies,” said Latin America analyst Yayoi Sekine. Mexico and Central America are pushing on plans to lower their dependence on oil- and diesel-based generation and meet rising demand for electricity.
In terms of investment, Mexico attracted USD 1.3 billion (EUR 973m) in clean energy investment in the first half of 2014 and can hit USD 2.4 billion in 2014, as compared to USD 1.6 billion in 2013. Meanwhile, renewables spending in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama was USD 317 million. Investment is seen to increase further thanks to policy changes that promote the development of wind, solar and geothermal, BNEF said.
Oil- and diesel-based power plants are currently responsible for 20% of Mexico’s installed capacity, and 42% of that in Central America.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.748)