Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Latin America's solar energy potential being tapped

Latin America's solar energy potential has drawn world attention and will be fully tapped as global solar companies start to invest in a host of regional countries.

Leading European solar corporations, such as Ecosolar and Solarcentury, are currently developing their businesses in Panama, after the continent's solar energy issue was discussed during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in last December.

Ecosolar and Solarcentury have jointly developed a 10 beiMW solar project, called Divisa Solar, in Panama's Cocle province and unveiled it earlier this week

Panama's solar industry is far from being developed. Its Ministry of Energy said solar accounts for less than 1 percent of the country's energy matrix, hydroelectricity 52 percent, and wind 5 percent.

Enrique de Ramon, Ecosolar's business director, believes bigger programs than Divisa Solar will be built in Panama in the future.

The country has excellent conditions for solar energy development, as its peak hours of energy demand coincide with the period of strong solar irradiation, said de Ramon.

Additionally, Panama has attractive economic policies and legal regulations which support the development of solar projects, he added.

De Ramon believes other Latin American countries should learn from Panama to create a safe and convenient environment for global investors to explore opportunities here.

Ecosolar is also developing its business in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico.

Jose Miguel Ferrer, Solarcentury's sales director for Latin America, told Xinhua that foreign investments in Latin America will greatly stimulate local employment.

European companies are not the only ones that have entered the Latin American solar market.

China's Yingli Solar, a sponsor for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, will light up the opening ceremony of the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with its solar equipment.

Another Chinese company, Sky Solar Holdings, is investing 18.7 million U.S. dollars to build a 44 MW solar plant in Chile's Atacama Desert.
 Xinhua -

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