Net metering and auctions underpin the development of renewable energy in the Americas, says GlobalData

American countries are adopting several strategies to ensure an intense shift towards renewable energy and this has already led to significant development in the renewable energy market, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Countries in North and South America are implementing strong policies to comply with renewable energy targets designated by their government. For instance, Chile has publicly announced its targets for renewable energy in the electricity mix: 20% by 2025, 60% by 2035 and 70% by 2050. There are a few states in the US aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy including Washington D.C. by 2032, Hawaii by 2045, Colorado by 2040, and Connecticut and Maine by 2050.

GlobalData’s latest report: ‘North and South America Renewable Energy Policy Report 2019’ reveals that net metering is one of the key driving factors for renewable energy in the residential and commercial segment whereas auction-based competitive bidding is promoting renewable energy in the utility-scale based segment.

Net metering is also a key support mechanism behind renewable energy development in the Americas. In North America, all the three major markets: US, Canada, and Mexico have net metering in place, Mexico being the most recent country to adopt the scheme; whereas in Latin America Brazil, Chile and Peru have already implemented net metering to support renewable energy development. In 2018, Colombia’s Energy and Gas Regulatory Commission announced the resolution (net metering) to regulate the distributed solar generation (up to 100 kW) and distributed generation from renewable sources (between 100 kW and 1 MW).

Piyali Das, Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The regulatory framework and policy structure supporting renewable energy resources in various American countries have led to substantial development in the renewable energy market. The US, Canada and Mexico are some of the leading nations in renewable energy growth trajectories.

“In the wake of growing energy security and environmental concerns, most American countries are expected to strengthen their renewable energy mechanisms, which will help the renewable energy industry in the Americas to maintain growth in the coming years.”

Eight out of nine countries covered in the report: US, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, and Peru have auction mechanism for various renewable energy technologies. In 2018, Brazil held five auctions; three of them included capacities of solar, wind, bio power and hydropower and the other two were technology neutral. These auctions awarded a total of 2.93 GW capacity in the year.

Das adds: “Alberta in Canada witnessed two rounds of auction which awarded 362 MW and 400 MW of wind power respectively in the same year. In the US, Massachusetts conducted auction for the rights to develop offshore wind in December 2018, in which the three winning companies bid a collective $405.1m.”

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