Brazil, Chile and Nicaragua top Latin America low carbon index

Clean energy investment in the three countries topped US$11.3 billion in 2012 says Bloomberg

(UN Photo)

(UN Photo)

By Nilima Choudhury 

Brazil, Chile and Nicaragua offer the most attractive low carbon opportunities in Latin America and the Carribbean, according to market analysts Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Clean energy investment in the three countries topped US$11.3 billion in 2012, BNEF crediting their open markets and high electricity demand for the figures.

The ratings are part of Bloomberg’s Climatescope index, an analysis of government policies and the level of current investment in clean energy which it now plans to expand to 55 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Backed by the UK, US and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), it will measure and rank the investment potential for clean energy in developing countries.

“We are delighted to continue and expand upon the important work we began with the MIF two years ago,” said Michael Liebreich, CEO of BNEF.

“Thanks to the additional support of the UK and US, we will widen the lens to profile activity in other developing nations where clean energy investors want to put capital, but lack information to make critical decisions.”

The UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening added: “Investors are clear – they have the capital but need reliable information to decide where and how to invest it. This index will provide the research investors need, helping to drive investment into new areas and to secure clean, stable energy supplies for millions of the world’s poorest people.”

Spending on clean energy between richer and developing countries shrank to 18% last year from 250% in 2007, according a UN report published earlier this year.

The biggest regional surge in investment was in the Middle East and Africa, where spending grew 228% to $12 billion in 2012.

One key complaint from international investors looking to finance developing world energy projects is a lack of clear, reliable information on risks and regulatory issues.

Ben Warren, EY’s global cleantech transaction services leader said: “Although renewable energy infrastructure projects will soon be economically viable in their own right, they are currently reliant on some form of subsidy to deliver returns.

“In the absence of stable policy and regulation, underlined by strong political support, long term investors will find it difficult to buy-in to this sector.”

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