Solar in Latin America & The Caribbean 2013: Markets, Outlook & Competitive Positioning

by Andrew Krulewitz, Nicole Litvak

As the installed cost of solar continues to decline globally, emerging markets in Latin America and the Caribbean with expensive wholesale and grid electricity prices are offering opportunity for players across the industry's value and supply chains. In the past year, there has been a flurry of activity in the region with more than 8.4 GW of large-scale project announcements. 

For 2013, GTM Research forecasts Latin America and the Caribbean will install more than 450 MW of grid-connected PV, compared to less than 100 MW in 2012. A majority of this will come from large utility-scale installations in Mexico and Chile. Brazil will see a number of its megawatt-scale R&D projects connected and initial growth in its distributed markets as electricity distribution companies begin to adopt interconnection and net-metering procedures.

FIGURE: Latin America Large-Scale Project Pipeline by Country

Source: Solar in Latin America & The Caribbean 2013

Despite the significant number of project announcements in Latin America, to date, little grid-connected solar has been installed and the industry in these countries is primarily comprised of distributors serving the off-grid market. This lack of domestic competition is seen by developers and component manufacturers as an opportunity to be a first-mover in a market with tremendous growth potential. While there are few pure-play solar companies operating in these countries, in every country there are incumbent firms that operate in a similar industry that could easily transition into the solar space. As some foreign entrants have already discovered, local knowledge has proven more valuable than solar-specific experience when operating in the region.

FIGURE: Latin America Market Potential Matrix

Source: Solar in Latin America & The Caribbean 2013

This 110-page report examines the market opportunities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru. The analysis includes country-specific electricity scenarios, an examination of current and potential solar policies in each market, utility project pipelines, leading developers and CAPEX costs by country, as well as market forecasts to 2017.

Hear report author, Andrew Krulewitz, talk about this research in Greentech Media's podcast below.

Take Five - The Outlook for Solar Power in Latin America by Greentech: Take Five

Andrew Krulewitz Solar Analyst; Editor, PVNews

As a Solar Analyst at GTM Research, Andrew Krulewitz covers demand in North and South America. In addition to leading primary data collection and analysis for the SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight reports, Andrew also tracks competitive positioning of technology providers, installers, and financiers in the U.S. and Latin America and serves as editor of PVNews, the solar industry's longest running market research periodical. Andrew joined GTM Research as a Research Associate and is a graduate of Colgate University.

Nicole Litvak Senior Analyst, Solar

Nicole Litvak is a Solar Analyst at GTM Research with a focus on the downstream US solar market. In addition to tracking the competitive landscape of installers, financiers, and technology providers in the residential and commercial market segments, Nicole serves as editor of PVNews, the solar industry's longest running market research periodical. Nicole has prior internship experience in corporate sustainability, solar water heating, and business development. She graduated from Brandeis University magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with majors in Economics and Psychology.

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