The other Americas : mere lands of sun or The Solar Powers
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Latin America?” Football? Well maybe, but it will not be long as and when Latin America or South America as a continent will be known for its Solar Potential as it is apparently competing at a global level in terms of Solar Energy production and consumption. The countries there have made their mark in this sector and are looking as confident as they come.
The world is getting hotter with every passing year, the glaciers are on a retreat and the sea level is on a constant rise. Thus, we need to find an alternative that is NOT fueling ‘Global Warming’ and Latin America has stood out to be called the “Fastest growing Solar Market in history.”
According to WI Research, the solar photovoltaic (PV) market in Latin America grew 370% in 2015, due to 625 megawatts (MW) worth of installations developed throughout the region during the year. In fact, with its 169 percent increase in solar energy between 2012 and 2015, Latin America is indeed the “fastest-growing solar market in history.” This rate even surpasses the entire European solar market growth rate of 60% between 2007 and 2011.
The best part of all this is that there is no single leader in the expanding solar market but nearly all the countries are competing to be the best.
It is also believed that this growth is driven by Chinese investments. Many Chinese companies like Sany, Goldwind, Envision, Yingli Green Energy and many more are bringing huge investments into Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Honduras and other Latin American countries.
The Countries moving ahead in the race are:
Chile holds the number one spot among the Latin American Country markets. Installing 493MW of solar energy in 2014. The Atacama Desert is seen as among the most ideal territory for solar development in the world. A 100GW plant of SunEdison has a capacity of producing energy for about 125,000 households, and about a dozen such plants are in making along the northern part of the desert. The energy produced is mainly concentrated on the backbone industry of the nation – Mining.
With around 500MW in solar power, Honduras managed to get a second position on the list. The Nacaome-Valle Photovoltaic Solar Plant, which is now the biggest solar plant in Latin America has the capacity to produce up to 140 MW per year, if demand keeps up, it will generate more than 10% of the country’s electricity demand.
The country with the most resources for solar energy is running a little behind in time but the government has some bright visions for this sector. The Mexican energy ministry’s plans for development are formidable: it wants 35 percent of the nation’s power resources to come from non-fossil fuels by 2024. Compared to other places in Latin America, Mexico will also get plenty of help from the international community.
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