Brazil is predicted to spearhead new renewable energy growth in South America between now and 2017.

According to a new report, the country’s cumulative installed renewable capacity will rise from 19.8 GW in 2013 to over 32.9 GW by 2017.

The study from research firm GlobalData also states that Chile will see the fastest increase in renewables in tRenewable energyhe period to 2017, with cumulative installed capacity rising from just 1.06 GW in 2013 to 5.37 GW by 2017.

Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s head for power, said South American countries are exploring opportunities in the power generation mix, led by Brazil and its pro-renewable approach, which includes national tenders that attract both foreign and domestic investment.

Mathur explained: “Brazil is looking to increase power generation from renewable energy sources and is aiming for 10 per cent of its annual generation to come from these sources by 2020.

“In order to achieve this target, the Brazilian government introduced the Program of Incentives for Alternative Electricity Sources in 2002 to boost renewable energy adoption.

“The first phase awarded auctions for 3.3 GW of wind, biomass and small and medium-sized hydropower plants in 2004. PROINFA was succeeded by auction procedures in 2011, to encourage further development of the power generation sector.”

According to GlobalData, while biomass accounted for the largest share of Brazil’s renewable energy mix with 50.1 per cent in 2014, wind power capacity is expected to become the new leading sector with a 41.4 per cent share in 2017, up from 27.3 per cent in 2014.

Meanwhile, renewables are expected to see the largest growth in Chile’s overall power sector, with the country beginning to harness its significant potential in solar, wind and geothermal power.

Mathur continued: “Wind accounted for the largest share of 39.9 per cent in 2014, followed by biomass with 22.2 per cent and solar with 19.2 per cent. With 16 new solar photovoltaic projects planned in Chile this year alone, solar power capacity is expected to become the new leader with 47.6 per cent in 2017, as wind power slips to second with a 34.7 per cent share.”


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