Argentina starts clean energy push with 1,000 megawatt tender

Argentina invited bids for projects aimed at creating 1,000 megawatts of alternative energy on Wednesday in the country’s first push toward wind and solar power production needed to help narrow its energy deficit.

Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the projects would be the initial stage of a plan that calls for 10,000 megawatts, or 20 percent of Argentine energy consumption, to come from renewable sources by 2025.

For years Argentina, home to one of the world’s biggest but untapped shale oil formations, has been a net energy importer.

Exploration and production investment has been slow to arrive to the Patagonian shale region known as Vaca Muerta.

Macri, inaugurated in December, has meanwhile set a goal of increasing renewable energy to 8 percent national consumption by the end of next year versus 1.8 percent currently.

“Today we are opening a special chapter, a national plan for renewable energy,” Macri said in a televised address on Wednesday. “The first stage is for 1,000 megawatts. We hope to get a lot of offers within a few months.”

Macri and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in March to take joint steps to fight climate change including working to cut carbon emissions from air flights and integrating solar and wind power into electricity grids.