Development and local banks are filling gaps in the Latin American renewables market as the landscape shifts from a corporate and equity financings to project level debt, said panelists at Euromoney Energy Events’ Renewable Energy Finance Forum – Latin America and Caribbean in Miami.

Michael Eckhart, Citigroup global head of environmental finance and sustainability, characterized this phase as temporary. “To get debt, you need a five-year track record,” he said. “Debt looks backward. ‘Show me the data, show me the track record.’ It needs repayment.”

Development banks, including Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social and the Inter-American Development Bank, have identified this hole. They also have the ability to deal with market risks, Eckhart noted. “We like to take risk in the investments we do,” said Jose Ramón Gómez, IDB senior regional energy specialist in Washington, D.C. “We like to remove barriers.”

The IDB has stepped up renewables lending in Latin America. It granted $736 million in renewables financings in the region last year, up from $663 million from 2000-2010 combined (PI, 4/5).

The bank plans to approve another $700 million in Latin American renewables financing this year.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance

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