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Renewable Energy Technology and Equipment

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Market Overview

Argentina’s carbon footprint from power generation is low, with about 90 percent of power generation in Argentina coming from hydro sources and thermal plants fired by natural gas, and a further 7 percent from nuclear power. As Argentina's total electricity demand continues to grow, increasing the consumption of hydropower could significantly reduce the country's emissions of greenhouse gases. Hydropower, however, has been controversial, including charges that hydroelectric dams in Argentina are responsible for displacing some Argentines and for significant environmental impact.

Argentina is poised to develop wind power. The country features one of the world’s top three wind corridors, located in southern Argentina (Patagonia). Historically, wind power has been used only minimally, mainly for pumping drinking water. However, wind power has been attracting significant attention recently as an economically viable source of electric power. In some parts of the Patagonian south, strong westerly winds blow at an average rate of 36 miles per hour. In Patagonia, the use of wind power has been promoted by independent electric cooperatives for several rural areas which do not have access to the federal electricity grid. U.S. products have very good market potential in Argentina. In fact, the U.S. ranks among the top three suppliers of technology for both solar and wind power generation. As Argentina’s alternative energy sector continues expanding, the market will continue to offer business opportunities to U.S. suppliers.

Argentina approved legislation which stipulates that energy utilities must purchase wind-generated electricity if it is made available to them. Although investors are starting to fund the construction of new wind farms, it remains very costly to transmit electricity produced in the south all the way to areas in the north, where demand is highest. The GOA estimates that as much as 15 percent of the country's energy needs could potentially be met by wind power by 2020. It has issued contracts to complete the linkage of southern Patagonia to the national power grid. This may reduce the marginal cost of power transmission to the north, even though it will still be expensive. A number of hydroelectric projects in Santa Cruz Province could also take advantage of this connection. In 2009, the GOA issued a tender for the provision of 1,000 MW from renewable energy sources, half of it from wind. One project has been finalized, and a few more are a few more underway.

As one of the world’s largest agricultural countries, Argentina holds great potential for biofuels. Argentina is already the world's largest exporter and the fourth largest producer of biodiesel, mostly made from soybean oil. A biofuels law mandates a 5 percent biofuels mix in gasoline and diesel, starting in 2010. The USG and the GOA signed a bilateral cooperation agreement on renewable energy in 2011.

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Sub- Sector Best Prospects

U.S. products have very good market potential in Argentina. In fact, the U.S. ranks among the top preferred suppliers of green power technology.

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Opportunities

Biofuels, biomass, wind and solar energy hold huge potential in Argentina. However, the market for wind and solar generation seems to be more promising given its stage of development. Direct sales to municipal governments, electric cooperatives, and private companies are common. Support by a local reputable partner is important, as local financing is scarce.

Argentina remains a key market for U.S. exports to Latin America. However, recent controls imposed by the Argentine government have made exporting goods from any country to Argentina more difficult. It is important for would-be exporters to Argentina to confirm that their Argentine customer has received all the necessary permits (Please refer to Chapter 5: Trade Regulations, Customs, and Standards).

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Trade Event

Event:

BIEL Lighting + Building

Dates:

September 10–14, 2013

Place:

La Rural Trade Center, Buenos Aires 

Organizer:

Indexport Messe Frankfurt S.A.

Description:
 

Biennial International Trade Fair for Electrical, Engineering, Electronics and Lighting.

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Useful Links

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Contact Information

Please feel free to contact the U.S. Commercial Service Argentina Specialist for additional information or assistance.

Marcelo Amden
Electric Power Industry Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Argentina
Embassy of the United States of America
Av. Colombia 4300
C1425GMN Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: (54-11) 5777-4509
Fax: (54-11) 5777-4203
Email: Marcelo.Amden@trade.gov

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