Press release 2012
SOUTH AMERICA PARTICIPATES AT DAY TWO OF EOLICA ARGENTINA 2012
Press release no. 108/12
On the afternoon of the second day of Eolica Argentina 2012, representatives of Brazil and Uruguay presented the evolution of the wind power sector in their countries and emphasized the strong interest of their governments in promoting the renewable energy industry.
In Brazil, for example, the state expects that by 2015 13% of national energy requirements will be met from alternative energy. Meanwhile, in Uruguay, it is expected that the same year the wind power industry will generate 1,500 MW.
Jussara Mattuella, an engineer at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, said the PROINFA framework had enabled the large-scale wind energy industry in Brazil. The program has allowed the awarding of 20-year contracts at fixed prices and with financing from Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento of up to 80% of the total project at interest rates between 5.3% to 8%. The project not only allows the development of the wind power industry, but also promotes domestic manufacturing of equipment, by requiring 60% domestic components in projects. Since the program began, Mattuella revealed that the number of wind power equipment manufacturers has multiplied and there are now more than 10 companies located in the industrial estate, including IMPSA, Wobben, GE, Gamesa and Vestas.
Mattuella explained that since the energy crises of 2001 and 2002 the government is continuing a program of diversification of energy sources, and noted that her country has a generating potential of approximately 300 GW, three times higher than national demand.
Brazil currently has 76 wind power plants in operation, which generate 1,543 MW. In July 2012 wind energy output is expected to reach 2 GW, representing between 1.3% and 2% of total national energy.
In the case of Uruguay the wind power industry began in 2006 when the state made progress in expanding the power generation industry, which until then was in the hands of the state-owned power generator, Administración Nacional de Usinas, explained two of the company's engineers, Tomás De Lavello and Guillermo Morelli. They said that since then a series of wind farms projects have been launched in Uruguay. In 2009 it was decided to add 300 MW of wind generation and 200 MW of biomass generation and tenders were invited for the first three contracts for 50 MW projects. These will begin to be built in one or two months. They also said that in 2011 the government restated its strategy and estimates were adjusted for 2015 to generation of 1,200 MW from wind, 200 MW from biomass and 500 MW from combined cycle.
Santiago Mullin of Logística Uy magazine said the new planned wind farms will require the transfer of 700 wind turbines in 30 months (23 to 24 wind turbines per month), which implies a challenge in planning and logistical coordination. Mullin said that logistics is one of the weakest links in the wind industry value chain and called for the participation of the public and private sectors to solve problems.
In the final session of the day, GE Wind presented its plants for the Argentinean wind industry and the National Technological University unveiled an ongoing fuel cell project that uses hydrogen as a fuel to generate energy and emits water as a by-product.
Speakers from the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) indicated that since 2007 there has been progress in the validation and generation of standard technical specifications for equipment. They said that it has been decided to build a wind turbine test platform at Neuquén. Similarly, Alicia Baragatti of the National Program for Rational and Efficient Energy Use said that it is working to create responsible consumption of electricity. As examples of successes she cited the program for incandescent bulb replacement and the labelling of appliances with their energy efficiency level, with those classified as A, B or C the most efficient. Baragatti noted that the labelling process has modified the behaviour of consumers, who are rushing to buy ABC products.
Finally, Annette Riechmann and Ivanna Zanella, Department of Environment of the Argentina-Germany Chamber of Commerce presented the case of German success in the use of renewable energies; they aim to develop in Argentina those programs that have been successful in Europe.
The Eolica Argentina and Solar Argentina conferences continue on Thursday 5 July. The end of the day will see panel debates on education and finance in which the audience will be able to participate. The closing ceremony will feature the event organizers as well as special guests.
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