Although emerging PV markets of Latin America and the Caribbean are set for 45% CAGR’s through 2017, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil are set to become the mainstream markets, absorbing nearly 70% of demand, in Latin Americain according to a new report from NPD Solarbuzz.

According to the market research firm, PV project applications in Latin America and the Caribbean topped 6GW in 2012. The market is therefore expected to be dominated by ground-mount installations compared to rooftop as seen in key markets in Europe. NPD Solarbuzz is forecasting that 60% of PV demand by 2017 in the region will be ground-mounted.

However, both the commercial and residential segments are expected to grow from 2015 onwards as markets open due to falling system prices.

Chris Sunsong, Analyst at NPD Solarbuzz, said: “Historically, PV demand was confined to rural off-grid and niche applications, but new renewable energy policies and incentive programs are now opening up the region for strong PV deployment. Set against a backdrop of strong economic growth, expanding energy demand, and increasing electricity prices, the conditions for PV adoption appear particularly attractive.”

Not surprisingly, the NPD Solarbuzz Emerging PV Markets Report: Latin America & Caribbean report highlighted that issues for growth in installations were ongoing.

“PV connection and integration procedures are not yet clearly defined, and there are concerns about grid stability as PV contributions come online,” noted Sunsong. “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.”

Sunsong also noted that it was crucial for PV suppliers to have a market-entry strategy for Latin America, especially as previously key markets such as Europe begin to decline as FiTs are reduced. However, PV suppliers will need to develop supply chains and purchasing channels in Latin America.