Industry discusses new market rules at GWEC Argentina seminar




Government officials and leading participants in Argentina’s fast-growing wind power sector discussed new market rules and sector development at a seminar organised by GWEC at the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange on 1 September.

The event was opened by Argentina’s Energy and Mining Minister Juan José Aranguren who told the 150 participants that energy security and halting climate change are now at the centre of Argentina’s energy policies, and thus renewable energy development is at the core of the political agenda of this Government Renewable Energy Sub-Secretary Sebastián Kind – the architect of the country’s renewable energy  policy and the RenovAR tenders gave an update on the country’s evolving regulation and outlined plans to promote investment in scientific research – through the establishment of a new national renewable energy and energy efficiency centre -to support renewables, and industrial development, training and the local supply chain.

Government advisors presented revised rules governing the RenovAR 2 tender which was launched in August and Director General of Renewable Energies, Esteban Pérez Andrich, and his colleague Cecilia Giralt, Director of Renewable energy studies outlined the land mark Resolution 281, which allows large power consumers to fulfil their renewable energy requirements – set to reach 20% by law by 2025 – by contracting power privately through PPAs or through self-supply. Officials estimate that the new term market – known as MATER – will lead to investments of around US$6bn over the next 3 years, and the installation of around 4GW in new renewables capacity.

The International Energy Agency IRENA was also present at the seminar to explain the projects for variable energy integration that is developing in Latin America, in particular in the Central America markets, and the Argentina electricity market operator, CANMESA explained their plans to manage large scale RE integration and increase grid infrastructures.

The Terrawatt project initiative was also explained in depth by Engie, considering its positive outcomes in order to gain in competitiveness for the current development of RE in the country.

Attendees also heard from leading developers and turbine suppliers on the progress of projects from the RenovAR 1 and 1.5 tenders, in a round table chaired by FTI Consulting’s Ben Backwell. The participants, from Genneia, Arauco Parque Eólico, Vestas, Envision, Siemens-Gamesa and Nordex described how projects that they are involved in are starting construction or in the final stages of reaching financial close and discussed key challenges around financing, infrastructure and the supply chain.

Mauro Soares from EOS Energía led a session on financing with leading multilateral, Commercial and investment banks, developers already structuring  project finance,  so as  the turbine manufacturer Enercon,  while Argentinian wind energy President Erico Spinadel moderated a panel on the development of the supply chain, which included Sergio Drucaroff, Undersecretry of Production,  at the government’s Production Ministry and Argentinian industry associations, and tower manufacturer Calviño.

Director General of Renewable energy promotion, Maximiliano Morrone, and Congressman Juan Carlos Villalonga closed the seminar, with an update on the progress of Argentina’s distributed renewable energy law, which has just been approved by congress’ Energy and Mines Commission, and is expected to be approved by Congress in the coming months.

GWEC also hosted a well-attended English language webcast on the seminar on 6 September, featuring Ramón Fiestas, president of GWEC’s Latin America Committee, and FTI’s Ben Backwell.  GWEC will also be publishing a report on the new market rules and market development in the coming weeks. If you missed the webcast, you can hear it here.