Argentina – learning from renewables trailblazer Brazil



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With Argentina set to join Brazil as a global renewable energy hotspot, GWEC’s Ramón Fiestas shares his unique insights into both South American markets

Almost 10 years after Brazil started its tender-based renewable energy programme, Argentina is following in the footsteps of its giant neighbour.

Some issues set the two nations apart, but both have one thing in common – the good wishes of the global wind industry as it expands its horizons.

Ramón Fiestas, CEO for Latin America at the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), is in a unique position of having helped spearhead the opening of both the Brazilian and the Argentine markets.

A decade ago, the wind industry’s main concern was overcapacity of its industrial base amid a slowdown of orders for mainly European turbine markets. That meant government financing and local-content policies won the day in Brazil.

Now the excess is in financing. With the ripples of the 2008 crisis still affecting most economies, money is cheap in global markets and ready to venture onto new shores. With an economy that signals it is more open, and with a well-regulated renewables sector to shore-up confidence, Argentina needs to convince banks that its plan to reach 20% renewables by 2025 is for real, despite its less trustworthy track record.