Canadian Solar Heading For LatAm

BMI View: Canadian Solar's move into Brazil is a strategically sound decision given the growth opportunities present in the Latin American region. By increasing its global presence, Canadian Solar can diversify away from the more saturated European and North American markets, capitalising on the altogether riskier, but potentially more rewarding developing solar markets.

Canadian Solar, a vertically integrated global module supplier, announced in June 2013 that it has opened a sales and business development office in Sao Paulo, Brazil - looking at developing commercial, utility-scale and off-grid projects. Canadian Solar already operates in 11 countries (spanning Asia, Europe and North America) and it is hoped that establishing itself in Brazil will help the company capitalise on growth opportunities within the country and the wider Latin American region.

The global renewables industry has witnessed huge growth over the last decade, with high levels of investment being channelled into the sector. However, in a number of developed markets, growth rates are set to moderate - particular in the solar segment - as the industry becomes more saturated and the regulatory environment surrounding the renewable energy agenda becomes increasingly unstable as commitment to green energy policy waivers in the face of economic uncertainty. As such, companies are looking to diversify their business portfolios to emerging markets where renewables are poised for growth, despite these countries presenting slightly less attractive risk profiles.

Emerging Markets Poised For Growth
Non-Hydro Renewables Net Capacity (MW), By Region, 2013f and 2022f and Non-Hydro Renewables Capacity (MW), By Country, 2022f

Canadian Solar's choice of Brazil as a base to spearhead its activities in Latin America is understandable, as the sheer size of the country's renewable energy market is vast, and we expect this trend to continue throughout our ten-year forecast period. We view this decision as strategically sound and believe it will provide Canadian Solar with a useful 'spring-board' into the wider Latin American region, most notably in to promising solar markets like Mexico and Chile (see, 'Key Regional Renewables Player, April 22, 'Vast Renewables Potential Ready To Be Tapped', June 4, 'Argentina's Renewables Incentives: Small Ray Of Hope', February 19) .

Canadian Solar's focus on developing markets (the company announced on June 3 that it has secured a loan from China Development Bank to develop a 30MW solar project in China) is serving the company well, despite challenging market conditions . In fact, the company is now outperforming the Bloomberg Solar Energy Index; an index comprising companies that are active across the entire solar power value chain.

Bottomed Out
Canadian Solar and Bloomberg Solar Index Share Price, Rebased as of January 2011
This article is tagged to:
Sector: Renewables
Geography: Brazil, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Brazil

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