PV in Latin America

PV in Latin America – Understanding the Top 3 Emerging Markets


April 16, 2014


Josefin Berg (Presenter)

Dr. Rodrigo Lopes Sauaia (Moderator/Presenter)

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Chile and Mexico drive Latin America PV growth in 2014



After years in the spotlight as a new PV market, in 2014 Chile is advancing to fulfill its potential. A combination of soaring electricity prices, a mining sector in need of power and excellent solar resources have spurred hopes of a dawn for a PV market detached from subsidy schemes. The challenges lie in finding off-takers, securing PPAs, and consequently attracting financing. Chile is set to add 400 MW of PV in 2014, but long-term additions hinge on the build-out of the grid.



Mexico has become a promising PV market, with 300 MW of large commercial and utility-scale projects under construction. Similar to Chile, Mexico has specific nodes on the power grid where PV is competitive with spot-market prices. Mexico also has a scheme for industries to sign direct PPAs with generators at other locations. Net-metering also spurs a residential market. In Mexico, in spite of tough competition with low-priced wind projects, PV has started to gain ground.



In 2012, the country implemented both a nation-wide net-metering system and an 80% discount in transmission and distribution fees for large-scale solar projects. In 2013, the federal government allowed solar energy to participate in two national electricity auctions for the first time in Brazilian history. The poor results of the national auctions were followed by Brazil’s first ever solar-only state electricity auction, which took place in the State of Pernambuco. This successfully concluded initiative is expected to increase the current Brazilian PV installed capacity at least fourfold in the coming years. As we reach the end of the first quarter of 2014, Brazil is now in the midst of a strong electricity supply debate and under preparations for presidential elections.


Josefin Berg

Analyst, IHS Solar Group


Dr. Rodrigo Lopes Sauaia

Executive Director of the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (ABSOLAR)


Josefin Berg
is an analyst in the IHS Solar Group. Focusing on the downstream segment of solar power, Josefin performs market research and analysis on the competitive strategies of utilities, IPPs, developers, and EPCs, and other investors. She is the lead analyst for the IHS quarterly report on solar PV in emerging markets. Prior to joining IHS, Josefin was an R&D strategy consultant in the field of cleantech and renewable energies. She holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering from Uppsala University, Sweden. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Swedish.

Dr. Rodrigo Lopes Sauaia Executive Director of the Brazilian Photovoltaic Solar Energy Association (ABSOLAR), a private non for profit organization that gathers companies from the whole PV value chain with operations in Brazil. ABSOLAR coordinates, represents, and defends the interests of its associate members regarding the development of the PV sector and market in Brazil, promoting and advertising the use of PV electricity in the country. Brazilian representative at the National PV Associations Forum organized by EPIA, PV technical advisor for Greenpeace Brazil, PV consultant for Intersolar South America.