Energy & Technology
In terms of energy and environment, Argentina experiences soil deterioration and desertification; loss of genetic species and ecosystem biodiversity; degradation of coastal and marine ecosystem; high index of water contamination; inadequate use of space and uncontrolled urbanization; inadequate solid waste management; air pollution. These problems are partly due to Argentina’s industrialization process and the development of an export-oriented monoculture model in the last decade, with policies reflecting little concern for environmental consequences.
The new legislation introduces the goal of 20% in renewable energy in the electrical matrix in 2025. The projects to be done until 2017 and between 2018 and 2025 will be eligible for different fiscal benefits, as devolution of the IVA (Value Added Tax). Intermediate goals are also established for electrical energy consumers. In 2019, 12% of the demand should be renewable. In 2021, the established goal is of 16% and for 2023, the established aim is 18%.
Guatemala has great potential, mainly for renewable energy generation. The Ministry of Energy estimates that the water resource potential of the country is 6.000 mega watts and geothermal energy is 1.000 megawatts, of which only 14.8% is used. Guatemala is in a highly privileged situation in terms of solar radiation, with an annual average of 5.3 kWh/m². Concerning wind energy, the Country has a surface of 1,568 km ² when the class of the wind is 4 or higher. When a density of 5 MW/km² is assumed, the potential is 7,840 MW, which can generate electricity for 20,000 GWh per year. While the country already has new options in the energy market, even if on a small scale, these have made a difference in everyday life and represent savings for the poorest communities. One of the country's energy policies is to diversify the generation mix and prioritize the use of renewable energy. This action could encourages foreign ventures to invest in Guatemala, to promote training of local labour force, to increase employability supporting a new sector (small medium plants).
Uruguay is placed third out of 146 countries in the Environmental Sustainability Index drawn up by Yale University using data from the World Economic Forum, making it the best-placed country in Latin America. Uruguay's government declared 84 % of Uruguayan energy in 2013 came from renewable sources. The Country has been pushing for an energy diversification policy focused on developing wind and solar energy since 2008. Economic growth is quite solid, but the considerable dependence on oil imports and the general risk of a bottleneck in the energy supply in the region may slow the current growth. Five years after the new energy policy was designed and implemented, as a national policy agreement, the country became a net exporter of electricity generated from renewable sources (mainly wind energy). In the first semester of 2016, there was a surplus of about 30 % of the electricity generated, which was exported to Argentina.