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Renewable Energy

Social unrest in Latin America

Land & Forests

Land-related social unrest in Latin America is no longer confined to the demand of the landless for fair access to land. It has come to embrace also the demands of the Indian peoples for respect for their land. It also includes the demands of the forcibly displaced for the restitution of their lands lost to conflict, and those of the environmentalists for the protection of their surroundings. With this array of demands comes, also, the necessary consideration ...

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Social unrest in Latin America

Opposing hydroelectric projects

Protests against hydroelectric plants in Latin America may not have attracted as much attention as those against opencast mining, but names such as Brazil’s Belo Monte have made headlines beyond the region. Onething is certain: Latin America is going after hydroelectricity in a big way. Many of the projects are in the large to “mega” categories, and these are most likely to be the main target of protest actions in coming years ...

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Wind Power

Growing in Latin America

Last year, over 41,000 MW were installed worldwide, of which 1,206 MW were made in Latin America, 80% of which in Brazil and Mexico; followed by Honduras, 8.4% with its farm at Cerro de la Hula; Argentina, 6.5%; Chile and the Dominican Republic, both 2.7%; Costa Rica, 1%; and Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay comprising the rest ...

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A Bio-Energy Perspective

The growth of bio-energy into a mega industry

Creating an analogy with the emergence of the oil industry over a century ago - we are about to witness the growth of bioenergy into a mega industry. The crude oil of this future global-industry will be biomass and supply will be the key driver for many years to come. Brazil is set to become the Saudi Arabia of the business and control over supply will be a critical success factor for those destined to become the new energy players ...

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The Argentine Renewable Energies Chamber (CADER)

Interview with Alfredo Langesfeld - President

The Chamber is a non-profit civil association, whose members are leading companies in alternative energies from Argentina and abroad (We have foreign companies members). Since its creation, the Chamber has been working to sustain its leadership in all the alternative energies and to play a key role in communicating  the great potential of  new energies. We are in biodiesel and alternative energies since 2006,to promote the use of alternative energies promoting business and more jobs ...

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Bringing It Home

Renewable Tech Development in LatAm

Even as the renewable sector in LatAm continues its steady growth, so far it has run, by and large, on borrowed equipment and ideas.  Brazil’s biofuels sector is an important exception, as that well-established, homegrown industry has been fed by domestic design, manufacturing and production for years.  But from the wind farms of Oaxaca, Mexico, to those in Patagonia, Argentina, and from the solar plants ...

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Returns on the River

The Benefits of Small Hydro

LatAm has some of the best natural hydropower resources in the world, with an abundance of high-volume rivers crossing the continent’s steep elevation gradients, and the region has a long history of harnessing this power by damming rivers and forming reservoirs – the classic “large” hydro method. Brazil has done the most to slake its hydro thirst: already second in the world in hydro production and third in installed capacity ...

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Renewables in LatAm

LatAm has a long history of renewable energy production, particularly in biomass and hydropower.  And yet, with the exception of Brazil, the region continues to have minimal installed electrical capacity generation from renewables.  Now, however, with the sustained growth of many of the region’s economies in recent years, the growing domestic demand in the face of consistently high fossil fuel prices that show no signs of abating ...

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Feeding the Beast

Ethanol in Mexico

Global demand for ethanol and other biofuels is growing rapidly, with the U.S. and Brazil leading the way in both production and consumption.  In LatAm, aside from Brazil, Colombia has taken strides toward becoming a major producer.  But Mexico’s production is poised to grow as well.  According to a recent Latin American Trade and Investment Association (Latia) report, its potential for biomass-generated production ...

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Replenished Returns

Institutional Investors Targeting Renewables in Brazil

Global institutional investors have been investing increasingly in Brazil and Brazil-focused funds in recent years, attracted by the country’s robust growth and mounting internal demand, its mature investment culture and its promising prospects across sectors, from agriculture to real estate to oil.  Now these institutional investors are turning toward Brazil’s long established but surging renewable energy industry ...

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All Aboard

Promoting Renewable Energy in the Americas

At the Organization of American States, the Department of Sustainable Development is implementing a sustainable energy program where we work with all the countries in the Western hemisphere on creating and implementing policies that favor renewable energy and energy efficiency generally.  Within that framework we also operate the clearinghouse of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, a U.S.-led initiative to advance energy efficiency and renewables across the Americas ...

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Get Out of the Shade

Gaining Exposure to LatAm Renewables

With LatAm’s regional renewables sector so nascent, there is a consensus among the industry and investment experts with whom ALI spoke that the best way to gain exposure to its growth is through sector- and region-focused funds and, in some cases, focused equity plays. “Definitely [I would invest] through a fund,” says Juan F. Paez, formerly a partner at Conduit Capital Management ...

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Great Expectations

Developing Chile's Renewables Sector

Like most of the other large economies in LatAm, Chile is blessed with enormous resources of largely untapped renewable energy, in wind, solar, hydro and geothermal, including excellent winds up and down its slender length and massive expanses of high-level solar radiation in the Atacama Desert. It is unique among these countries, however, in its almost total lack of fossil fuel resources, having relied on imports, mostly of Argentine gas, for years ...

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Argentine Wind Power

Investing in the Development of Argentine Wind Power

One of the largest renewable resources in LatAm is the wind of Argentina, particularly in the sparsely populated Patagonia region occupying the southern half of the extremely long and spacious country.  Some estimates put the wind-generated electricity potential of Patagonia alone at an astounding 2GW.  According to Diego Werner, an engineer and wind energy expert at the Argentine firm AIRES Renewables, the country’s other wind-rich regions include the Atlantic coast, especially in the province of Buenos Aires (which alone is the size of France) ...

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Alternative bioenergy M&A picks up steam in Latin America

While ethanol deals wait for better days

Alternative bioenergy crops could drive the next big wave of M&A in Latin America, much like sugarcane drove activity during the ethanol boom in the early 2000s, according to industry sources. Latin America has been saturated with bioenergy-related joint venture and partnership announcements from energy, food and biotechnology companies, with more deals on the forefront, said Eduardo Ribeiro, partner at the Brazil-based advisory firm BSR. Projects range from second-generation ethanol and biodiesel to jet fuel and biobutanol ...

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2012: LatAm's Year of Wind Energy

The Latin American Wind Energy Association

The Latin American Wind Energy Association, LAWEA, was born in 2007 with the intention of promoting the development of this energy source in the region. “Since then, we have been working on strengthening the industry through the dissemination of the achievements and relevant accomplishments towards its development, and this has consolidated LAWEA as the most important network in the region,” explains Fernando Tejeda, LAWEA’s co-founder and president ...

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Electric Energy Storage in Latin America

Smart Grid Technologies

The world’s current electric power system is built around an early twentieth century premise: electricity must be produced on demand because, unlike most other commodities, there is no way to store it.  So those involved in the generation, transmission, distribution and even consumption of electricity have to invest for peak demand, even if that occurs for only brief periods during any given day.  The amount of surplus investment in assets getting inadequate use -- and therefore substandard returns -- has been a serious stumbling block for the industry for decades ...

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Argentina'a Renewable Energy Industry

Reveals the Enormous Potential of the Country

There is a growing trend towards investment in renewable energy generation in Latin America, as the region’s abundant natural resources can easily be harnessed into clean energy solutions that will fuel the region’s continued economic growth.  A recent study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that in 2010, over US$13 billion was invested in Latin America in clean energy generation, and is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 70% since 2004. That’s almost twice as fast as global investment in the industry, which in itself is among one of the fastest growing industries in the world …

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A Tale of Two Cities

Biofuels: Brazil vs The United States

Brazil and the U.S. are the two leading biofuel producers in the world. Together, they accounted for 76 percent of global production in 2010, yet there is a marked contrast between the two governments’ policies. The Brazilian government has demonstrated consistent support in the development of their biofuels industry over many years based upon sound technological choices; whereas, U.S. inconsistencies have led to economic distortions and created major uncertainties. The future of both domestic industries is becoming intertwined as biofuels must evolve from being defined by national boundaries to being defined by global commodities … 


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The Winds of Change

Wind energy as a renewable energy investment in Brazil

In the renewable energy auctions held in Brazil on August 25th and 26th market forces yielded a significant reduction in wind energy prices. Wind energy contracts were awarded totaling more than 2 GW, at an average tariff of R$130.86 (US$ 75) per MWh. Prices bid for wind energy were lower than biomass and comparable with small hydro. The authorities are declaring a major breakthrough, placing wind energy firmly in the mainstream. It is perceived to be an important step towards achieving or possibly exceeding the government target of 15GW from alternative energy sources by 2035 ...

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Argentina's Energy Framework: Preparing for an Onslaught of Renewable Energy Investment

Discussing the massive new energy investment program in Argentina

Argentina recently began a massive new energy investment program with a goal of reaching 8% of its energy matrix from clean energy sources such as wind, solar, and biomass by 2016.  This article is a brief primer explaining the basics of Argentina’s energy policy and legal framework for those looking to participate in one of the most exciting energy investment opportunities in the region that will attract US $5 billion dollars in the next few years. Argentina’s energy planning is the domain of the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Service, under which the Secretariat of Energy executes …  



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Opportunities in Argentine Biodiesel

Exploring the opportunities in Argentine Biodiesel investment

 But Argentina’s greatest success thus far has been in biofuels, specifically biodiesel.  Biodiesel is made from fats and vegetable oils, and each producing country makes use of the feedstock it has in comparative abundance.  Hence, Colombian biodiesel is made from palm oil, Australians use tallow (animal fat), Canadians use canola oil, and Argentina, soy oil.  Argentina is the world’s third largest soy grower and its largest soy oil exporter.  This abundance of biodiesel feedstock, coupled with export tax differentials that act as production incentives, has made Argentina the world’s number one exporter of biodiesel and the fourth largest producer overall …  

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Argentine Wind Power

Wind energy investment opportunities Argentina

 Argentina has some of the world's most favorable environmental and geological conditions for wind energy generation, although to date this market position is yet to be fully utilized.  At a time when renewable energy sources are proven and have demonstrated their investment potential in Europe, the US and Asia, Latin America remains an untapped opportunity. The economic results of governmental research demonstrate a solid investment opportunity in Argentina's market for wind energy, coupled with rising energy prices and a national energy deficit. Companies such as Nowa energías that specialize in the complete management of renewable investment projects … 

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The Alternative Energy Powerhouse

Alternative energy investment opportunities in Brazil

 As home to the world’s last major tropical rainforest, one of the largest renewable reserves of fresh water, the planet’s most diverse stock of biodiversity, the best energy matrix of any of the top economies and the most successful industrial-scale production of bio-fuels, Brazil stands out in the environmental arena. In anticipation of the Copenhagen summit the Brazilian government made an ambitious pledge to reduce its emissions by at least 36% from business as usual by 2020. Brazil’s new agenda is, politically and psychologically, an important step and it is significant that the Brazilian government is now willing to voluntarily set a target …   

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Concentrating Energy in the Atacama

Solar energy investment opportunities in the Chilean desert

 The Atacama Desert is one of the driest, warmest and sunniest places on earth, analogous to the sunbelt of the US. Despite its excellent conditions for developing solar technologies, this movement has yet to take hold in the region. To better understand the Chilean reality in the solar market and the potential development of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) it serves to mention the landscape of Chile itself.

Chile is a long and narrow strip of land, located in South America. The country offers a rich array of climates and terrain. Continental Chile is approximately 4.200 kilometers in length and 300 kilometers … 

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Wind Power Investment Blowing Towards Chile

Wind energy investment opportunities in Chile

 The combination of pro-renewable energy legislation, economic stability and industrial demand are fuelling a vibrant wind power sector in Chile. The Latin American nation has limited indigenous energy resources, with the exception of hydropower. As a result, the country must import the bulk of its energy needs. Up until 2004 Chile met most of its demand for energy by importing natural gas through an agreement signed in 1995 with neighboring Argentina for them to supply 22 million cubic meters a day. However, subsidized energy prices in Argentina boosted domestic demand there, which consequently saw exports to Chile fall drastically… 

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