Latin American PV prospects strong

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Mexico, Chile, and Brazil are predicted to experience explosive demand for solar photovoltaics (PV), accounting for nearly 70 percent of PV demand and a compound annual growth rate of 45 percent by 2017, according to NPD Solarbuzz.

In the past, PV demand was confined to rural off-grid and niche applications. Today, a combination of net metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), and other policies and incentives, are fueling rising demand. Strong economic growth, and increasing energy demand and electricity prices make PV adoption particularly attractive. By the end of 2012, the region's energy regulators had received PV project applications in excess of 6 GW stimulating the PV pipeline.

The prospects for PV adoption are strong, but certain obstacles that must be overcome.

"PV connection and integration procedures are not yet clearly defined, and there are concerns about grid stability as PV contributions come online," said Chris Sunsong, an NPD Solarbuzz analyst. "Electricity subsidies in Mexico and low natural gas prices in Peru are also delaying the onset of PV grid-parity for some end-user categories, while import tariffs across the region are keeping PV system costs on the high side."

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