LatAm renewables holds its breath over Trump effect



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ANALYSIS: Donald Trump hasn’t endeared himself to Latin America, but in some scenarios he could be good news for renewables growth in the US’s southern neighbours

Like every other industry in the region, Latin America’s fast-growing wind and solar sectors are holding their breath to see what a Donald Trump presidency means for them – and there is plenty to gain or lose.

They shouldn’t expect any early answers, warned Ramón Fiestas, head of the Latin American arm of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), who said it would take at least three months after Trump is sworn in to “see what is his real political project”.

If events play out in a certain direction, Trump could actually spell good tidings for growth prospects in Latin America’s solar and wind industries, which will suddenly assume a greater significance in the global clean-energy push.

That could happen, for example, if a decisively anti-renewables Trump prompts more US businesses to look south for opportunities, potentially boosting competition in Latin American markets.

Whether because of increased long-term uncertainty in the US’s domestic renewables market or through the effects of a weaker US economy – and consequently the US dollar in relation to other currencies – Latin American countries are expected to continue, and even strengthen, their renewables policies, mostly based on competitive tenders and long-term PPAs.