International corporations continue to look to the Latin American market for expansion opportunities as renewable energy cements itself as a viable solution for nations with an increased level of consumption.
Earlier this week, American-based FuelCell Energy announced it had a tentative deal in place with Spanish energy giant Abengoa to sell biofuel-powered generators into the Latin American market. Ireland’s Mainstream Renewables also announced that it is negotiating with several Chilean mining firms to secure financing for a 75-MW solar plant in the northern part of the country where, according to officials, “demand for energy is very high, due to increased mining activity.” This comes on the heels of a recent decision by international conglomerate Alstom to set up its first wind turbine manufacturing facility in Brazil.
Small Hydropower in Colombia: Colombian power and engineering company HMV Ingenieros will add up to 200 MW in small hydroelectric capacity in the coming years, news sources report. HMV has already developed the 9.8-MW Guanaquitas and 9.5-MW Caruquia hydropower projects in the country's Guadalupe River Basin, and the company is currently working on two more.
Wind Comes to Panama: Large-scale wind energy will make its debut in Panama in 2014 when the first wind turbines are installed for a 121-MW project.
Ethanol Production Decline: The pace of global biofuels production growth will be slower than previously forecast over the next five years due to weaker prospects for Brazilian ethanol and as the U.S. market becomes saturated, the International Energy Agency said. Brazilian ethanol production in 2011 is expected to decline by 75,000 barrel/day to 375,000 b/d due to a poor sugar cane harvest and high sugar prices.
A Renewable Venezuela: As Venezuela’s economy gathers momentum and more residents are pulled from poverty, the nation continues to move toward a comprehensive energy strategy built on efficiency and an increased adoption of renewable forms of energy.
Higher Education and Ocean Technologies: The UMass Dartmouth School of Marine Science and Technology and the University of Sao Paulo Institute of Oceanography have signed an agreement creating dual PhD degrees in Oceanography and Marine Sciences. Faculty from the two institutions have collaborated for years on research projects related to ocean modeling and forecasting which is critical to the economies of both Brazil and Massachusetts.
Brazil Could Help Africa Unlock Potential: Carlos Cavalcanti of the Federation of Industries of the state of Sao Paulo, spoke at the Energy in Africa discussion, in which he said that almost half of Brazil's energy now comes from renewable sources, and that the growth achieved could serve as a blueprint for other developing nations.
A Green Showcase: An environmental fair in Lima shows growing evidence that clean technology is having an impact in places like Peru.
“We’ve made progress in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and intend to start next year to spread our activities to all Latin American countries. Uruguay and Argentina both have set government auctions [for contracts to sell power from renewable energy projects]."
— Marcos Costa, Alstom executive on markets for turbine manufacturing facility recently opened in Brazil.
1,400: Megawatts of wind power capacity currently installed in Brazil.
11,000: Projected megawatts of capacity in the nation by 2014.
31,600: Installed capacity in Brazil by 2025.
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