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Uruguay Planning Global Leadership in Wind Power


Uruguay wind energyUruguay plans to lead the world in terms of power derived from wind energy by using renewable sources to produce about 90% of its electricity by 2015.

The wind energy-derived electrical power is supposed to take up about 30% with the remaining 45% and 15% taken up by hydropower and biomass respectively, as reported by SmartPlanet. The South American country would then leapfrog Denmark, whose electricity is made up of 26% wind power, into first place.

Even though there are a few hydropower plants in Uruguay, these become less functional during dry seasons and force the nation to buy electricity from Argentina at a rate of nearly $400 per megawatt hour (MWh) sometimes.

The Uruguayan government hopes to reduce energy prices to about $64/MWh, down from existing prices of $90/MWh with the installation of the wind farms which would provide a more secure energy source.

Investment in the sector has already begun with the UTE state electric company signing contracts to purchase energy from 20 private yet-to-be-built wind farms.

Analysts are predicting that South America would take a lead among developing nations, since the region has shown rapid increases in profitable renewable energy investment in the last year.

Vestas, one of the leading wind power companies has agreed to build a wind farm of 90MW in Chile while Ecuador has just finished building the very first of its wind farms with a 16.5MW project located in Loja in the province in the southern part of the country.

The story is similar in Asia with Thailand planning to supplement an expected 39% growth in energy demand in the next ten years and Vietnam has scheduled Green Growth Strategy (GGS), a program to promote reduced carbon and other harmful emissions while increasing green initiatives.

In Dubai, a new solar target has been set to raise its 4.5MW to 1GW come 2030, while South Africa has recently backed its billion rand renewable energy procurement programme which has now given birth to 28 new subprojects.

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