Wind power in Latin America in 2009

While growth in 2009 was still small in absolute terms, with 622 MW installed across the continent, this represented a doubling of the total installed capacity.

In addition, the pipeline for new wind farm developments is substantial, with numerous large scale wind farms set to become operational in the coming years.

Brazil added 264 MW of new capacity, compared to only 94 MW in 2008, and is now host to 606 MW of wind farms. Brazil’s PROINFA program was initially passed by the Brazilian Congress in 2002 in order to stimulate the addition of over 1,100 MW of wind energy capacity, which was later expanded to 1,400 MW.

It looks increasingly likely that the 1,100 MW target will be met, if not necessarily the full 1,400 MW. Currently, 154.4 MW of PROINFA projects are still under construction, and nearly 560 MW remain under development. Wind projects awarded through the PROINFA programme account for over 95% of wind power installations in Brazil.

Traditionally dominated by just one wind turbine manufacturer, Wobben Enercon, several other international wind turbines players have now entered the Brazilian market, including Vestas, Suzlon and IMPSA.

In December 2009, the Brazilian energy regulator, Agencia Nacional de Energia Eletrica (ANEEL), hosted the country’s first wind-only auction. Through that auction, 71 wind energy projects were contracted for a total capacity of 1,800 MW.

In 2009, Mexico’s installed wind capacity more than doubled with 117 MW of new capacity added to the existing 85 MW operating at the end of 2008. The total installed wind power capacity now amounts to 202 MW.

This increase was the result of two private self-supply projects brought online in 2009, “Parques Ecológicos de México” (79.9 MW) and the first phase of the “Eurus” project (37.5 MW).

Latin America & Caribbean wind power in 2009

Brazil 606 MW
Mexico 202 MW
Chile 168 MW
Costa Rica 123 MW
Nicaragua 40 MW
Caribbean 35 MW
Argentina 31 MW
Uruguay 20 MW
Jamaica 23 MW
Colombia 20 MW
Others (Cuba,Peru) 6 MW
Total Latin America 1,274 MW