Wind power and solar utility-scale buildout gains speed in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, while Mexico falls behind

Latin America has the potential to increase its utility-scale solar and wind power capacity by more than 460% by 2030 if all 319 gigawatts (GW) of prospective new projects in the region come online, according to a new report from Global Energy Monitor.

Together with existing distributed and smaller-scale solar capacity, Latin America will be on track to meet, and potentially surpass, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2030 regional net zero renewable energy goals if it implements all of its prospective larger-scale projects.

The region’s top five countries in terms of prospective utility-scale solar and wind capacity additions are:

  1. Brazil (217 GW)
  2. Chile (38 GW)
  3. Colombia (37 GW)
  4. Peru (10 GW)
  5. Mexico (7 GW)

The top five countries in terms of current operating utility-scale solar and wind are:

  1. Brazil (27 GW)
  2. Mexico (20 GW)
  3. Chile (10 GW)
  4. Argentina (5 GW)
  5. Uruguay (2 GW)

With a collective capacity of over 57 GW, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico make up almost 84% of the existing 69 GW of currently operating utility-scale solar and wind farms in the region. But while Brazil, Chile, and Colombia stand at the vanguard of the renewables race, Mexico has fallen behind; ultimately only set to reach 70% of its pledge to bring 40 GW of solar and wind by 2030 – even if all prospective projects come online.