Challenges of emerging technologies in the renewable energy market in Latin America


    The full interview was initially published in Spanish in the magazine Energía Estratégica in April 2024

    Álvaro Velasco, responsible for Applus+ renewable energy services in Latin America, shared some of the challenges that emerging technologies face within the renewables market and the solutions Applus+ brings to the table.

    The high costs of Green Hydrogen projects

    Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and Colombia are some of the countries that have established specific objectives for the development of green hydrogen projects. That is why Applus+ offers different Hydrogen Solutions at all stages of the projects.

    "The main inquiries we receive are related to feasibility studies, technical assistance, and even basic and detailed engineering on a small scale," Álvaro Velasco revealed. "This is largely due to the high production costs of this type of hydrogen through electrolysis."

    Li-ion batteries challenges on renewable energy storage projects

    In recent years, the price of lithium-ion batteries has decreased, and there has been a significant increase in production capacity alongside a growing demand. However, there are several challenges that need to be adrdressed to foster the deployment of li-ion battery energy energy storage projects in underdeveloped or developing countries:

    • Ensuring the availability and sustainability of raw materials for manufacturing lithium batteries can be challenging, so it is necessary to search for the diversification of sources and researching more sustainable alternatives.
    • The initial cost of implementing energy storage systems with lithium batteries can be exorbitant, necessitating the development of financial models such as public-private partnerships or government incentive programs.
    • Integrating energy storage systems with lithium batteries requires adequate electrical infrastructure, which may be outdated in some countries.
    • It's essential to develop educational programs to train local technicians and experts.
    • Developing specific policies and regulations for energy storage is crucial to mitigate uncertainty and stimulate investment.


    Wind turbine manufacturing QA/QC, a critical service in Wind Offshore

    Another significant opportunity lies in offshore wind turbine deployment, particularly in Brazil and Colombia. 
    Applus+ highlights its IWEX technology in this market, an advanced ultrasonic inspection technique based on full matrix capture (FMC) that precisely identifies and measures defects in welds with its 3D resolution.

    This technology is applicable in ensuring the quality control of welds during the manufacturing process of wind towers and other components. 
    'This technology enhances the final product quality and the asset's lifespan from the outset. Having components that meet high-quality standards is especially critical in offshore projects, where the operational environment, the sea, is more aggressive, and where any repairs are more expensive than in onshore installations,' observed Álvaro Velasco about IWEX. 

    For more information, read the full article on Energía Estratégica magazine.

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