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Argentina Expects Big Wins from Energy Auction

12 Oct 15:00 by Steve Walia

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The Argentinian government has confirmed that it expects to receive around $1.8 billion from a new round of renewable energy projects, with 1,109MW of renewable energy power capacity potential being auctioned off. The country is working hard to reduce its dependence on energy imports and increase its own security of supply.

Both domestic and overseas companies will be amongst those who have put in successful bids, with Envision Energy from China winning four new wind energy contracts and Field Fare and Isolux Corsan SA both winning solar power contracts.

Argentina wants to grow its share of renewable energy sources from its current level of just 1.8pc a year to 8pc in total. This new wave of energy auctions will take the country to around 5pc, with scope to then auction off further rights for the remaining 3pc.

The average price for winning contracts was $59.7 for both wind and solar. A total of 123 bids were submitted for developments in September, and 17 were subsequently awarded - of which 12 will be for wind projects, four for large solar projects and one for a biogas development. Although bids for biomass and hydroelectricity developments were received, the government did not award them any contracts.

The government then plans to cease imports of light crude oil towards the end of this year as part of the bigger drive towards energy security of supply and self-sufficiency. It has been running a power deficit for the past five years, with investment in the much-heralded shale fields of Vaca Muerta being slow to materialise.

The Latin American region in general is working hard to grow its share of renewable energy. Chile awarded a new round of power supply contracts for green projects in August.