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Argentina Looks To Increase Solar Capacity

Both Argentina and Venezuela produce less renewable energy than any other Latin American countries but Argentina are keen to do something about this. They are to increase their solar energy capacity by anything up to thirty-five times more than is currently being achieved with the Argentinian government planning a number of incentives for various solar power projects.

Solar panels
(image credit: Abi Skipp)

The western region of Argentina benefits from around twice as much solar radiation as that of Germany that has the biggest solar power market. As a result, developers from around the world plan to construct plants in that part of Argentina to maximise the potential available.

Over the last twelve months approval has been sought to construct eleven plants with each one being capable of producing around 20 megawatts. So far, four of these have been approved.

Argentina have set themselves a target of producing 8 per cent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2016 which is a huge increase from the current figure of 2 per cent. It is Argentina’s intention to construct 3,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity with around 10 per cent coming from solar power. At the present time, around 625 megawatts are in place that, in the main, emanate from small hydropower projects. At the moment solar power only produces 6.2 megawatts of that energy capacity.

Of course, a huge constraint in Argentina is on the finance side as the country has struggled with debt so raising finance for solar panel projects has not been easy.

There is interest from numerous companies including those in China and Spain. To date, there has been only one tender sorted out with that being for Genneia SA to produce 20 megawatts in respect of the first big solar park in the country. It will be capable of generating enough power for around 30,000 residential properties.

We shall continue to monitor and report on the progression of solar power in Argentina.

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