Mauricio Macri (pictured) is the first right-wing and the first pro-business president in Argentina for many years following the reign of the Kirchner family. One of the most important statements he made in the field of renewables was last October during a visit to the facilities of the photovoltaic park Caàƒ±ada Honda. Macri said: “The goal for 2025 should be to achieve 20 per cent of renewable energy and for that we need a new law, mechanisms and transparent ways of promoting the huge amount of investment expected in the country.”
Argentina has recently amended its renewable energy legislation, which has meant an increase of 8 per cent by the end of next year to achieve a contribution of 20 per cent by 31 December 2025. However, in the South American country’s renewable energy – excluding hydroelectric sources – accounts for less than 2 percent of the matrix. Therefore, the current president seems to be aligned with Argentina’s power policy.
à¢€¨And his political party, PRO, has been emphatic in its support for renewable energy. PRO has said in its manifesto: “We care about natural and energy resources. In the last 10 years, Argentina ceased to be self-sufficient in energy by misguided public policies. à¢€¨”Now with the new opportunity presented by unconventional resources and the potential that traditional resources still have, we must strengthen institutions and build confidence to allow investment growth, especially in upstream but also in the downstream oil and electricity generation. à¢€¨”Our project aims to reduce the share of thermal energy by 2030 from 66 per cent to 46 per cent. This represents further diversification of the energy matrix with a sharp increase in renewable sources.”
Macri also told newspaper Infobae that he aims to give more prominence to renewable energy. In an interview before being elected president, he said: “Towards the end of the 2019/20 we have a mandate that will ensure that the participation of this type of energy in energy generation is 10 percent (this would amount to 4000 MW of wind power), with a second stage of 20 percent by 2025.
“On the other hand, at a small scale, our government will promote the distribution of renewable energy sources, generating energy demand. This requires updating existing legislation at a national level so users can inject domestically generated renewable energy to the grid.”
à¢€¨Things seem to be going his way. A bill is already being carried out to create “a federal system of private generators by injecting the systemà‚ with renewable energy”.à¢€¨
Macri’s interest energy generation is so huge that he is expected to create a new Department of Energy. This is likely to be led by Juan Jose Aranguren, who until June was the president of the oil company Shell Argentina. Some critics might have reservations about his willingness to give priority to renewable energy. However, a couple of months ago Aranguren outlined an interesting position at least about wind. He said: “Having identified the wind map of Argentina, the time it takes to have wind energy development is shorter … that requires a high level of investment. Today, diversification of the matrix is à¢€â€¹à¢€â€¹no longer a desirable goal. It is a necessity.”à¢€¨
Aranguren also claimed that the subsidy given to “renewable energy is less than that received by the burning of hydrocarbons to generate electricity” and is “more efficient be generating wind power than to be burning old units of hydrocarbon, burning imported oil or burning fuel, as we are doing today, on machines that are inefficient”à¢€¨In addition, he opened the door for home electricity to be generated so that it adds to the network surpluses, but this will have to wait a definition in energy prices.
à¢€¨Another adviser on energy, Emilio Apud, has said that renewable energy “is necessary to improve the infrastructure … I reckon that in two or three years we could install solar panels in homes. This is a revolution that already exists.”