Saturday, February 12, 2011

Argentina looks to wind for the answer to its energy woes

Argentina looks to wind for the answer to its energy woes


In 2004, Argentina received a wake up call. The Latin American nation experienced a deep energy crisis as a result of a shortage in natural gas caused by the demand for energy skyrocketing and outstripping supply. Since then the country has made a conscious effort to diversify its energy sources, with wind power attracting particular attention.

The country’s chamber of renewable energy (CADER) believes Argentina has a huge wind power potential. This is supported by a report by the National University of Comahue which said the country’s Patagonia region could generate round 200 GW from wind power.
But Argentina is currently taking advantage of a mere 2 per cent of this potential.

According to a report in El Cronista Comercial, there are already 32.2 MW of wind power installed in the country. This includes the Arauco wind park, which comprise twelve 2.1 MW wind turbines. Late last year, IMPSA won a contract to double its capacity to 50 MW.

The push for a more prominent use of wind energy could gather momentum thanks to new legislation introduced, which if properly enforced could see the use of renewable energy increase to 8 per cent by 2016.

Currently, 50 per cent of Argentina’s renewable energy is derived from wind power but the country’s Energy Secretariat expects it to cover the energy needs of a million people by 2025.

Argentina is seen as an ideal location for wind farms. According to CADER, nearly 70 per cent of its territory is covered with winds with an annual average speed, measured at 50 metres above ground level, exceeding 6 metres/second (m/s).

In Central and Southern Patagonia the speeds can reach on average 9 m/s and up to 12 m/s.

Anumakonda Jagadeesh comments:

Yes. Argentina has one of the best wind regimes in the world. There are regions where the annual wind speeds exceed 11 m/s. It is estimated the gross potential of Wind energy in Argentina is 500,000 MW!

It is hoped multinational Companies will invest in Argentina just as in Sri Lanka to harness Wind Energy.

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