Acciona Energia Targets Argentina and Africa for Clean Energy

Acciona SA is looking at Argentina and Africa as it considers expansion opportunities for renewable energy.

The Spanish company’s energy unit wants to be the first mover in these markets, according to Rafael Mateo, CEO of Acciona Energia. It will focus on developing wind and solar parks.

“We are prospecting new markets,” Mateo said in an interview at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in New York. “Countries such as Argentina that have a shortage of power capacity generation and are starting to have political wiliness are interesting for us.”

Latin American countries received $17.4 billion in investments for clean energy last year, according to BNEF. The region dominated the list of top emerging nations for clean-energy investments as governments across the region stepped up efforts to diversify their power supplies. Africa has drawn $25 billion in investments in renewables in the past six years, BNEF reports.

More than 60 percent of Argentina’s energy comes from fossil fuels. The country has 215 megawatts of installed wind-power capacity and almost no solar or biomass plants, according to BNEF.

In Latin America, Acciona has 1.1 gigawatts of wind and solar parks operating and under construction in Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico, according to its website. In South Africa, it has 230 megawatts solar and wind capacity.

"There is room in Latin America for more renewables," Mateo said.