Peru struggles for foothold in renewable energy race

By a Potencia correspondent

Renewable energy in Latin American nations is becoming more commonplace. Climatic and geographic conditions make the countries in the region a key market for the investment from Europe, Northern America and China. The race for taking advantage of the Latin America's renewable market began a long time ago, but concerns are growing that Peru is lagging behind.

Foreign companies admire Colombia's capacity to create hydropower energy as the Brazilian and Argentinean suitability to generate wind power. Mexico is a huge solar power producer as other countries in the region but, what about Peru?

The Peruvian government is yet to develop a considerable activity in the renewable energy market so far. Former Environment minister, Antonio Brack, regrets the situation, moreover Peru has a good potential to produce renewable energies as hydropower, wind farms and solar plants.

Peru gets its energy production mainly from petrol and gas, something that supposes an environmental problem and huge economic expenses. According to 'Energías Renovables' magazine, only 28 per cent of Peruvian energy production comes from renewable sources with hydropower and bio-mass plants as main clean energy producers.

After the 2011 elections won by Ollanta Humala, Manuel Pulgar Vidal was appointed as the minister of Environment. Pulgar Vidal claimed that the government plans hope that renewable energies make the 66 per cent of total energy production by 2040. Hydropower will play a key role in the government plans but some new sources will come into scene: solar power and wind power.

Three wind farms will be built by the end of 2012. Alberto Ríos Villacorta, of Spanish European University of Madrid, told 'De Peru' that the country enjoys an important potential to create electricity through wind power and in the next years will be between the main producers in Latin America. The wind projects are being built in the cities of Talara, Cupisnique and Marcona.

At the end of 2012 four solar plants will be active. The sum of the production of solar and wind projects will get 220 mega-watts.

Mardo Mendoza, from Peruvian Electric General Headship claimed that Peru's geography will let to create about "57 000 MW" from wind power. This will be possible because the country has many different climates most of them suitable for the wind power generation.

For more Latin America news.

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