Climatescope assessed 26 Latin America and Caribbean nations, from Mexico in North America, to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, to Chile in South America. This is a highly heterogeneous group, ranging from the Bahamas with a national GDP of just $11.5bn to the seventh largest economy on earth, Brazil, with its $2.4tr GDP. These nations also feature massive geographic diversity – from extensive hydro basins in South America, to mountainous and desert regions along the Andes, to sunny islands in the Caribbean and volcanic areas in Central America.
Given its unique natural resources, clean energy has a strong potential across the whole region yielding high capacity factors and cost-competitive alternatives for electricity generation.
This potential has not gone unnoticed and the region is today regarded as one of the great frontiers for clean energy investment. From 2006 to 2013, the region attracted a cumulative $132bn for biofuels, biomass, geothermal, solar, small hydro (up to 50MW) and wind. Of this, $93.4bn went to build new projects.
Most importantly, this investment has produced operating assets providing approximately 92.7TWh in 2013 to the Latin American and Caribbean’s 600m population, representing 6.4% of total generation. Adding large hydro generation, which is not included in the Climatescope survey, the region met 54.4% of its power demand through zero-CO2 emitting power sources.
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