This is the best time to learn more, -much more-, about solar energy, its applications and its benefits. Your next investment could be in the business of manufacturing, marketing, distribution, installation, or technical support of this type of renewable energy. And the reasons are multiple:
Among all renewable energies, photovoltaic solar energy will perhaps have one of the best prospects for its development in the coming years. Although it is not known if Mexico will be able to meet the new challenge that has been proposed, it has a new goal in terms of renewable energies and hopes that: by 2024, 35% of the electricity produced in the country will come from clean sources, which This was stated earlier this year by the Secretary of Energy: Pedro Joaquín Coldwell.
If it’s free, … why not use it?
In general, all Latin American countries have already set their sights on this type of energy, and for many reasons. Not only does it protect the environment but it is a completely free and inexhaustible resource. As well as being available everywhere. Sky, sea and earth.
To reach this goal, the Mexican federal government has committed 160 million dollars for the development of new projects and innovation in the production of new energy.
Among the renewable energies, solar photovoltaics would perhaps have one of the best prospects for growth. Currently the country has an installed capacity of 36.8 megawatts (MW) in solar projects, mainly for rural and industrial electrification, according to data from Proméxico.
According to the organization, Mexico is one of the five most attractive countries in the world to invest in solar energy, since its geographical location allows the development of these projects and it is the largest producer of photovoltaic modules in America Latin.
So, why hasn’t more decision been made in these projects?
It can be attributed to several factors: the belief that the cost of production is still high compared to other technologies; the scarcity of financing for these projects, and the little attention paid to renewable energies within the energy reform.
However, there is great potential in most Latin American countries to seriously invest in this area, the lower costs and greater financing capacity can make investors finally “see the light” on the horizon and begin an unprecedented bonanza in new businesses that produce, supply, and install this type of renewable energy.
Solar energy is no longer as expensive as before
At just $1 per Watt/Panel, solar energy production is becoming competitive with other energies, making it an attractive source for investment, “Ben Moody,” President of Pan American Finance, said in an interview.
Solar PV is now competitively priced for both small rooftop installations and larger ones such as large-scale power plants. In addition, photovoltaic solar power plants are, compared to other renewable technologies, faster and easier to install. As a result of the latest innovations and discoveries, solar photovoltaic energy projects may be less complex to finance compared to other renewable technologies.
Gustavo Tomé, director of Solartec, a company that produces solar energy equipment, indicates that: “production costs have been reduced considerably in recent years to the point that prices for solar panels are already being seen in the market at less of $1 per Watt, while on the other hand not long ago it cost up to 5 times that and more”. Today’s solar panels are also more powerful because new methods of extracting electrical energy from solar energy have been discovered.
“Solartec’s first year of operations was 2010. And as of 2014, system costs have been reduced by 70-80%. Most people, even the authorities, were left with a very old-fashioned idea of solar energy,” he says. Ben Moody, adding that, specifically, the cost of solar panels has fallen by more than 60% and up to 80% in the last three years from an average price of about $1.81 per watt in 2010, to $0.70 dollars per watt today, and it’s still going down.
The ‘birthing’ of new investments
The Secretary of Energy (Sener) indicated in a 2012 document that one of the main characteristics of successful cases for the promotion of photovoltaic systems is to include long-term financial incentives, preparation of market studies, dissemination of the benefits of these systems, among others.
But in addition to the investment that the public sector can make in Mexico, there are examples of projects promoted by private initiative, explains Ben Moody, of Pan American Finance.
“Countries such as Chile, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Thailand are carrying out photovoltaic solar energy projects that offer long-term electricity at a competitive cost compared to current energy prices.
Major large-scale solar PV projects ranging from 75MW to 150MW are also being developed by both global energy companies such as Enel and Total, as well as independent solar power producers such as Sonnedix Solar.
Gustavo Tomé, from Solartec, indicates that electricity prices are not expected to fall in the short term, as one of the promises that were included in the promotion of electricity, if the State does not start investing in renewable energy.
With current technologies, if we want to see reductions in electricity consumption rates in the short term, we will have to look seriously at renewable energy sources, and among them, the best option so far is the use of solar energy through the use of photovoltaic solar panels.
The energy reform does not offer much light
Gustavo Tomé considers that the energy reform is primarily “a reform of the hydrocarbons law”, something understandable due to the country’s potential in this matter, and because of the private investment that it would trigger.
But, the text that speaks of the promotion of renewable energy is unclear, we will have to wait to see what the secondary laws say. To date, we cannot foresee that there will be a real boost to renewable energies by the governments of the day, but there is great support in the private sector.
The cost reduction may give enough impetus for photovoltaics to break through. In our opinion, considering the continuous reduction of world prices in the manufacture of solar cells and therefore of solar panels, it is very likely that photovoltaic solar energy will reach a large presence in the market and become very important in the sector of the energy of all Latin American countries in the coming years.
Many experts also agree on this. Gustavo Tomé affirms that in the short and medium term great opportunities may arise in this type of company. An extraordinary growth outlook is anticipated, not only for equipment producers such as Solartec, but for power producers in general.