The take-off of renewable energies in Argentina can be described with some figures: 206 are the projects awarded since 2016; 6130.9 are the MW that will generate these ventures; 4.7 million households will be supplied; 7237 are the millions of dollars that came as an investment to the sector, and 9200 are the jobs related to the activity. In the last three years, the country has positioned itself as one of the ten most attractive destinations to invest in the “green wave”.
At this point in 2019, the share of renewable energies in the provision of national electricity demand reaches 4.8% and, although the advance of this index has accelerated in recent times, it is still far from 12% of participation that law 27,191 set as a goal to meet the last day of this year: it is estimated that by then it will reach 8%.
The legislation also established the target of 20% by 2025. And despite the distance of the current data with this objective, it is considered that there has been a great leap in recent years: it is enough to observe that between 2002 and 2012 the percentage had remained stagnant in just 0.5% of the electricity demand.
Sebastián Kind, Undersecretary of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the Nation, argues that the decision that the issue is State policy led to develop “a solid regulatory framework, supported by an innovative and unprecedented system of guarantees that proved to provide certainty and predictability , something essential to develop sectors of high capital intensity and long repayment periods “.
1% Hydraulic energy: it is the one that uses the movement of water to generate electricity, by turning turbines coupled to generators. It is second among renewable sources in terms of MW provision for electricity demand, but has fewer projects (14). 1% Hydraulic energy: it is the one that uses the movement of water to generate electricity, by turning turbines coupled to generators. It is second among renewable sources in terms of MW provision for electricity demand, but has fewer projects (14).
Kind, appointed in his current position in December 2015, by the then Minister of Energy, Juan José Aranguren, wrote for Senator Marcelo Guinle the text of the project of what is now Law 27,191, published in the Official Gazette on March 15. October 2015 and that was the basis for the green revolution.
Juan Bosch, specialist in renewable energies and president of Saesa, a company that sells gas and energy, confirms that much progress has been made in recent years. “It’s a good time to take stock of what was proposed at the beginning of 2016. It started from very low, with 180 MW installed, while Uruguay had 1000 and Brazil, 7000, but today we are much better,” says the expert. .
What is that “be much better”? Specifically, there are 43 projects that are already commercially enabled (that is, they are working), which generate 1221 MW of power in 12 Argentine provinces and provide electricity to 900,000 homes. That is part of the 141 projects that are under development: the remaining 98, which will add 3567 MW, are under construction (70 will begin to operate before the end of the year).
As indicated by the Undersecretariat of Renewable Energy, since 2016, 206 projects were awarded, which, when they are all in operation, will generate 6,137 MW. There are 64 wind projects for 3788.2 MW; 69 solar by 2029.9 MW; 59 bioenergy projects (biomass, biogas and landfill biogas) for 280.7 MW, and 14 small hydroelectric projects for 32.1 MW.
0, 4%. Photovoltaic energy. It is what is generally known as “solar” and it is considered that, together with wind power, it has the most potential in the country. There are currently 69 awarded projects, which will have the capacity to generate 2029.9 MW. 0, 4%. Photovoltaic energy. It is what is generally known as “solar” and it is considered that, together with wind power, it has the most potential in the country. There are currently 69 awarded projects, which will have the capacity to generate 2029.9 MW.
Daniel Montamat, former Secretary of Energy, believes that 2019 will be remembered as the year that will mark a break with respect to previous years. “I say this because this year most of the projects of the RenovAr 1.0 and RenovAr 1.5 plan enter the system,” argues the current director of the Montamat & Asociados study, in reference to the programs for which the Government is bidding and awarding works for the supply of electricity from renewable sources.
As of 2019, the share of these energies in the provision of national electricity demand has grown to 4.8% and it is possible that 8% will be reached. The share of each type of energy in that percentage is the following: wind 3.1%, hydraulic 1%, photovoltaic 0.4% and bioenergy 0.3%, according to data from the Undersecretariat of Renewable Energy.
According to Bosch, the initial plan was proposed to install 10,000 MW in 10 years and that did not depend on the renewable energy sector, but on the progress of finance and the economy in general. “It is not just a matter of good energy design, but of State policy, because the investor recovers his investment in 20 years, which is why it is crucial that there is confidence in the country,” says the specialist.
To achieve this objective, the Government relied on three chapters: a) the RenovAr plan, which includes the contracts signed by the state and for which it purchases energy from the generators; b) the market between private companies, which was launched at the end of 2017 and which implies that renewable energy can be bought and sold without the intervention of the State at all, and c) distributed generation, which started this year and which is the possibility of that any user generates renewable energy in their home.
Walter Lanosa, CEO of Genneia, a company that invested US $ 1200 million to generate wind and solar power, says that in the last four years the development of renewable energy has achieved the necessary impetus to become a competitive and efficient alternative. “Genneia is convinced that the development of renewable energy will achieve, in the near future, to put our country among the most outstanding in the region,” he says.
For specialists, renewable energy came to put Argentina in a place where it should be from the energy point of view, which is the diversification of the matrix, with the incorporation of a whole related industry. It is very complex to move forward, because it goes hand in hand with a very sophisticated financial structuring, but once it is achieved, the economic and environmental benefits are remarkable.
A glimpse into the “green” reality of some countries shows that Argentina is still behind schedule, but, if it reaches its goal by 2025, it will get in tune: Chile has 18% of its energy matrix covered with renewables; China, 26%; United States, 18%; Australia, 72%; Belgium, 18, and Norway, 99%.
To reach the goal of 20% in 2025, at least two more tenders of the RenovAr plan will be needed in the next three years, but before that, Montamat points out, it would be necessary to expand the transport network, both in 500 kV and in 132 kV to increase the number of nodes with available capacity and favor the insertion of renewables in the system.
In the case of the RenovAr plan, Kind points out that the integration of the national component, considering all the technologies, went from 14% in round 1, to 30% in round 2. “In the case of wind technology, the data is even more revealing: it went from 11% in round 1 to 37% in 2, with projects provided almost entirely with equipment of national origin, “said the official.
Since 2016, some 80 companies have joined the renewable energy business. There are from small to large companies, among which are Pampa Energía, YPF, Central Puerto, Genneia, Seeds Energy, AES Generación, Jemse and Loma de la Lata. There are others who do not want to miss the “green wave”, which begins to be a reality and took 20 years to arrive.