Argentina plans a future with wind

Posted: 3 April 2001

A wind energy proposal has been presented to the Argentine government which could mean that by 2011, 15 per cent of the total Argentine energy needs, some 3,000 megawatts, could be produced by wind power.

Last December, two Spanish companies, Endesa and Elecnor, formed a partnership, Energias Argentina (Enarsa), to build and operate wind power plants in three Patagonian provinces, the southern region of the country which is characterized by constant strong winds.

According to the Argentine news service EFE, Enarsa's plan for the production of wind energy calls for a total investment of US$2.25 billion over the next 10 years, which would result in the generation of 3,000 megawatts by the end of that period - 15 per cent of Argentina's current installed energy capacity.

The first phase of the project will be the construction of a wind power plant in Chubut, a province in the central area of Patagonia.

The Argentine government hopes that this non-polluting form of energy will meet part of the country's domestic needs and that the energy produced from oil and gas can be reserved for export.

If the project is agreed, the first wind turbines will be brought from Spain and assembled in Argentina, but economy minister Machinea said Enarsa may manufacture them locally in the future.

Energias Argentina has already constructed a number of solar power installations in Argentina, mostly small solar systems in parks and campgrounds.

Source: Environment News Service, February 2001