GWEC prepares to lead first wind-power mission to Argentina



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The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is preparing to lead a delegation of 12 companies and industry associations to Argentina in early March – the first ever such business mission to the South American country.

Companies confirmed as taking part include Vestas, Gamesa, Iberdrola, Siemens, NRG Systems, Mainstream Renewable Power and Vaisala. The Japanese Wind Power Association and the Turkish Wind Power Association are also part of the delegation.

The trip follows the revision of the 2006 renewable law, which updated renewables targets to 20% by 2025 and set up new financing mechanisms.

GWEC’s first official trip also follows the election of the pro-market Mauricio Macri, who since he was sworn-in in December has declared support for renewables and pledged changes to make the Argentine economy more open to investors.

Among the most significant changes he has already promoted were the elimination of foreign exchange controls and removal of subsidies for electricity, which reportedly will result in a 700% increase in consumer bills.

The Macri administration also announced last week a series of planned blackouts because of high summer temperatures, part of the revision of the planning of a power sector that is today fraught with ‘informal’ power cuts and lack of investment in generation and distribution.

Despite a huge 2 terawatt-plus wind power potential – mainly in the windy south – and solar irradiation levels close to neighbouring Chile’s – mainly in the Andean regions in western Argentina – the country has only 279MW of wind power installed, having added only 8MW in 2015, and almost insignificant solar power capacity.