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Montevideo, May 20th 2019 - 15:08 UTC

Renewable energy overtakes coal in electricity generation capacity; half a million solar panels installed every day

Friday, October 28th 2016 - 12:23 UTC
Full article 6 comments

The International Energy Agency said in its latest report that last year the world's capacity to generate electricity from renewable sources has now overtaken coal, and renewable accounted for more than half of the increase in power capacity. Read full article


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  • Marti Llazo

    So where is Argentina in this game? The last numbers I have for electrical generation here, rounded. The numbers apparently include some of the electricity supplied to Argentina from Paraguay and Chile. The new coal-burning plant at Río Turbio turned out to be an expensive and massive Kirchnerist failure since not enough of the local low-grade coal was being produced to successfully operate the turbines.

    Natural gas (much of which is now imported) about 46 percent
    Nuclear about 4 percent
    Hydro about 36 percent
    Diesel (much of it from imports) about 13 percent
    Solar+wind+biomass less than 1 percent

    Oct 28th, 2016 - 01:33 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DonMateo

    The problem in Argentina is the massive import duties on solar panels. I live in Mendoza and for a couple of years I have been looking at getting solar panels on my house but a 300watt panel anywhere else in the world is a hundred bucks or so. In Argentina is about 400bucks. Ie the same price it was about 5 years ago.

    Which is a shame as Argentina has excellent solar resources. Oh well they will learn sooner or later. My money is on later.

    Oct 29th, 2016 - 02:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    We needed to install electrical generation for one of the puesteros who was located where bringing in a diesel generator and fuel was impractical, so we went with a combination of wind turbine (this is the Patagonia, after all) and solar panels. The kit would have been stupidly expensive here in Argentina even if delivery could have been accomplished, which was unlikely any time soon. We ended up finding almost the entire set of wind and solar power generation equipment at the Zona Franca down in Chile, at the “Recasur” shop (not coincidentally where our Islander friends get some of their materials). We have an arrangement with a chileno supplier who does delivery to us in Río Gallegos by “taking the long way around” via a frontier crossing where the Argentine gendarmes are completely unwilling to leave their warm office to inspect incoming small chileno vehicles. That process is only viable for high-cost purchases at the ZF since it takes that driver an entire day to complete the delivery. But even with that expense it cost us less than one half of what the component costs would have been if the items could have been had in Argentina. The only major items we ended up buying here in Río Gallegos were the storage batteries, switches, wiring, and installation poles.

    Oct 29th, 2016 - 03:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    This is excellent news, flying in the face of climate change deniers and others who continue to decry clean energy and predict economic disaster if the world reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
    In addition to wind and solar, humans are harnessing tidal energy as well as geothermal and biomass, which gives endless possibilities in the effort towards clean--or almost clean--forms of energy.
    Even if global warming were a hoax as some still claim, reduced pollution spewed by fossil-fuel burning power plants such as mercure in the case of coal would be enough argument for clean energy.
    The “jobs” argument in favour of dirty sources of energy proves also to be a red herring--jobs will just be different.
    Technology is allowing not only the creation of large solar and wind energy ventures; it will also allow every roof to generate electricity by integrating solar cells into building materials.
    Here's the world--including emergent countries such as India and China--embracing the change we need if we are to have a future as inhabitants of this planet.

    Oct 30th, 2016 - 04:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DonMateo

    Hey Marti,
    Can you email me. I wouldnt mind talking to your supplier.

    Oct 30th, 2016 - 06:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo


    Argentina continues to penalise private installers of renewable energy generators (e.g., wind and solar) with import restrictions, high taxation, and the effects of that 40 percent annual inflation.

    As far as local suppliers, for obvious reasons I can't let on who the driver is, but I can tell you some other parts.

    One source for wind and solar power generation materials is in the Zona Franca in Punta Arenas down in Chile and you don't pay IVA there (it's considered “extraterritorial” for tax purposes). The selling agency is Recasur and they have shops both inside and outside the ZF though outside, you pay IVA. In addition to what they have in stock, they can sometimes special-order items from within Chile and from elsewhere. With enough lead time they can assemble just about any order that can be legally imported and even some items that can't be sold in the rest of Chile. In the rear of the shop, in the tyre sales area, is a tall thin fellow who I believe is Croatian (descendent of Croatians) and he is the one talk to about special orders.

    We found our supplier-driver through references and the initial contact ended up being one of the many delivery drivers with Hyundai “Bonzo” vehicles with “Flete” signs, parked at the Sodimac-Home Center also in Punta Arenas (Sodimac is similar to the big-box “Tehuelche” warehouses but with generally better merchandise than the Tehuelches). The initial driver had a brother in Puerto Natales who regularly delivers into Argentina for some of the other estancias. Recasur makes their own truck deliveries about twice a week to Natales, items are picked up there and stripped of their “new” look with a little grease and mud, and carted across the adjacent frontier where understaffed and don't-care personnel rarely leave their office. Note that it is faster to just take that merchandise into Argentina at Monte Aymond but there is much more scrutiny.

    Oct 30th, 2016 - 07:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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