Uruguay counts impressive renewables gains

Written on 6 Mar 2017

Osborne Clarke are proud sponsors of inspiratia’s riskWatch which assesses the risk of investing in renewables energy projects in the most active markets globally. Please see below an extract from inspiratia’s latest report on the renewables market in Uruguay.

Uruguay put in place a transformational national energy policy in 2008, in a bid to unshackle its energy market from its dependency on neighbouring Argentina in favour of home-grown generation. Now, this small South American nation can reasonably claim to be at the forefront of the installation of renewable energy and has been given a riskWatch score of 66.07%, but with a slightly negative outlook

In the years either side of the millennium, Uruguay’s electricity market experienced a chain reaction of issues that required concerted political action to address. First, the country’s hitherto dominant hydropower sector was hit by droughts that resulted in lower than expected power generation over a number of years, leading to a significant increase in the use of fossil fuels to make up the difference. Problematically for Uruguay, as a country lacking a domestic supply of crude oil on any kind of scale, this meant importing fuel at great expense, chiefly from neighbouring Argentina.

So, with a view to achieving energy independence through clean and renewable technologies, the Política Energética (Energy Policy) 2005-2030 was approved by the General Assembly in Montevideo in 2008. The legislation set out a roadmap for the installation of renewable energy projects at an immense scale for a country the size of Uruguay. If onshore wind is taken as a particular exemplar of the progress made since, the country had no utility-scale capacity installed in 2007 but by the end of 2015 this had risen to 845MW. Smaller increases have also been realised in the bioenergy sectors, and solar is just beginning to show signs of progress.

So what are the policy and regulation, project drivers, macroeconomics and politics driving change in Uruguay? Please contact Osborne Clarke’s expert below to request a full copy of inspiratia’s report.

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