Interviewing Daniel Redondo, Secretary of Strategic Energy Planning

‘In the previous ten years natural gas grew the most. In our administration, however, renewable energies will grow the most’ – Daniel Redondo


INTERVIEWING DANIEL REDONDO

Daniel A. Redondo is the Secretary of Strategic Energy Planning in the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Argentina, a key player in the expansion of renewable energies. He is a Chemical Engineer from Universidad Nacional del Sur and worked for several years for Exxon Mobil. 

Which relation do you have with energy policy in Argentina, and specifically with renewable energy policy in the country?

My work in the Argentinian Government is that of Secretary of Strategic Energy Planning. My tasks involve the definition of a strategic plan for the long term for Argentina, and the implementation of policies to execute this plan with a horizon of 10-15 years. This plan includes the objectives of generating an energy matrix for the long term, of establishing price policies, of implementing projects that are attractive for the country, of assessing the impact of these projects and of analyzing the environmental impact of society’s energy demands, determining the necessities of investment, the types of technologies, etc. A description of this plan is in the document “Scenarios 2025” available on the Ministry’s website.

What is Argentina doing regarding renewable energies?

In summary, our administration has regulated Law No. 27.191 of Renewable Energies that was approved by the National Congress in 2015. In conjuction with this law, we have defined the objectives for the energy matrix for the next 10 years.

Timetable for renewable energy production in Argentina as a percentage according to Law 27.191.

 

Also, we have implemented the Program RenovAr in order to foster investment for renewable energies; there have been two rounds of auctions in order to install solar capacity for energy generation. These auctions have been tremendously successful, exceeding both the government’s and the market’s expectations. This turned into approximately 50 projects that are being built which should provide 8% of the total electric energy consumed in the country by the end of 2018. Recently, we have called for RenovAr 2.0, incorporating 1,100 additional Mega Watts [MW] of renewable energies. We expect to receive offers by October 20th. According to the market variables that we analyze, the interest from the private sector on participating in these auctions is extremely high, and we expect them to exceed once again the offered capacity by the government. Additionally, we expect the prices to be even lower than those on previous auctions.

Which is the situation regarding renewable energies in Argentina in comparison to the rest of Latin America? Do you think that Argentina has any comparative advantage regarding its neighbors?

Argentina is far behind other nations in the continent (Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico… Costa Rica and Uruguay are not comparable to Argentina due to their resources and size of demand), specifically due to the absence of a coherent energy plan by previous administrations and a lack of investment. This situation has been corrected in the last 20 months and the perspectives are very favorable. Argentina will significantly increase the prevalence of renewable energies in its energy matrix. The objective is that renewable energies arrive to 20% of the country’s energy generation by 2025. Argentina has excellent resources for renewable energies: strong winds in the Patagonia and constant, high intensity radiation in the Northwest mountains of the country. Also, we have excellent hydroelectric and biomass resources, mainly concentrated in the Northeast.

Statistics Time Series for Argentina representing cumulative installed capacity for renewable energies between the years 2000 and 2016. Blue represents medium and large hydropower, light blue wind energy, yellow represents solar energy, green bioenergy [solid biomass] and red represents geothermal

Clic here for an interactive map of Argentina’s energy generation, transportation and distribution.

Which are the energy sources that have grown the most in Argentina in the last years?

In the previous ten years natural gas grew the most. In our administration, however, renewable energies will grow the most, including hydro-power. There are also some projects with nuclear power and geothermal energy, but their participation in the energy matrix will be small.

Which is the greatest challenge that renewable energies face in Argentina? What about solar energy?

The greatest challenge is the adoption of transmission and distribution networks in order to absorb renewable energies from different regions. Once this is achieved, the widespread use of renewable energy will be possible by society.

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