Press release 2012
MINIMIZING RISK AND GENERATING LONG-TERM CONTRACTS IS THE KEY TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF WIND VENTURES
Press release no. 106/12
On the second day of Eolica Argentina and Solar Argentina 2012 speakers discussed the challenges that renewable energy faces in the quest for funding.
Among the challenges for the financing of a wind power venture, Roberto Diez of CFA, raised the need to ensure the price of power generation for the duration of the project or to seal long term power purchase contracts, without neglecting third party certification of engineering checks and wind measurements before starting the project.
Nicolás Eliachev, attorney at Marval, O'Farrell Mairal called for "blue sky thinking if we want to develop the industry" and observed that "we cannot expect the state to solve our problems." He said that given the current state of the Argentinean energy market, where 60% of installed capacity is thermal and 40% of that total is generated from petroleum-based liquid fuels, supply prices rise but that does not result in higher costs for end users as the state absorbs the increases.
In this situation, and in the absence of regulation to encourage the development of the sector, the lawyer noted that the private and free market should be encouraged. Procurement thresholds should be reduced to enable purchasing by large-scale consumers, Eliachev said, while groups and associations (business parks and industrial estates) that can generate their own energy and promote renewable energy plus should be allowed. He invited thinking on other ways such as net metering, which would allow users to inject power generated surplus to requirements into the grid.
Lucy Craig of consultancy Garrad Hassan CL, noted that external project financing has benefits for developers because its allows the freeing-up of capital, the formation of business associations, the sharing of risk and increases in efficiency. Craig said the way to minimize the risks of a wind project is to focus on how to reduce mishaps starting from the project design. Likewise, the risks can be offset to the contractor, insurance can be taken out on the park, investment margins increased, reserve funds or additional guarantees can be requested.
Rosana Bril of the Planet Earth Universe Foundation, pointed to complete or partial tax relief, not as a cost to the state, but rather as "a saving for the future". Bril said that this tool will make it possible to promote and drive renewable energy generation and restructure industry to serve sustainability.
Finally, Ricardo Bernengo of GENNEIA SA, presented the Rawson I and II wind farm, opened in February 2012 in the province of Chubut. He said that the park has 43 turbines that generate 1.8 megawatts of power. The park achieved output of 130,000 megawatts per hour in the first half, he said, noting that Rawson generates 95% of total wind power produced in the province (9%).
In the second panel of the morning, Guilherme Soledade of Semikron, presented power modules that increase output of current to the grid by up to 30%. Meanwhile, Jorge Maislin of the Argentinean Wind Energy Association (AAEE) raised the need for adequate controls to monitor grid activity and measure variations in the speed of the turbine shaft.
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