Currently Argentina is far behind in solar capacity with only about 10 MW in operation. That could change soon due to plans to expand by up to thirty-five times. Solar farms are being planned in the western parts of the country, where there is approximately twice was much solar radiation as in Germany, the world’s number one solar market.There is a great deal of solar radiation in the western areas waiting to be utilized.
Argentina has a goal of increasing power from renewables to 8% by 2016. The federal government is trying to make it easier for developers to build and manage solar projects by allowing them to negotiate directly with the grid-operator, instead of through a third party. Officials are also trying to tend to each potential long-term power contract more carefully to give better service to international companies that might invest in the solar projects. Companies like China’s Sky Solar Holdings Co., Solaria Energia & Medio Ambiente SA and Aldar SA have reportedly struck agreements with the government.
Some skepticism has been expressed about the feasibility of such a large, quick solar surge. “However, this is still Argentina. The same country that claimed inflation of 11.1 percent, but was censured earlier this month by the International Monetary Fund because some private economists believe the real rate of inflation there is 26 percent.” (Source: Bezinga) Argentina’s economy is the third-largest in South America, behind Brazil and Colombia.
Natural gas provides about half of the country’s energy, with oil providing most of the the other half. Nuclear, coal and hydro make up the rest, with a tiny portion generated by renewables. About two-thirds of their electricity is generated by burning natural gas in thermal plants. Another one-third comes from hydro-power. Annual electricity demand has been estimated to be about 6%.
Although it represents a very tiny portion of their overall energy profile, biodiesel production has increased greatly over the last five years. Along with solar, wind power is likely to be developed there.
Image Credit: Chupacabras, Wiki Commons
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