In the background can be seen the gigantic Cauchari Solar Park and in the foreground are tolas, typical drought-resistant shrubs of the Puna highland plateau. The largest plant of its kind in operation in South America is in the middle of nowhere, a few kilometres from the Kolla community of Puesto Sey, where there are now 962,496 solar panels. CREDIT: Cauchari Solar
within the history can also be seen the tremendous Cauchari solar Park and in the foreground are tolas, general drought-resistant shrubs of the Puna highland plateau. The greatest plant of its form in operation in South the us is within the core of nowhere, a few kilometres from the Kolla community of Puesto Sey, where there are now 962,496 photo voltaic panels. credit score: Cauchari photo voltaic
  • by means of Daniel Gutman (buenos aires)
  • Inter Press carrier

The photo voltaic park is observed within the excessive northwest province of Jujuy some 1,seven hundred km from Buenos Aires, near the borders with Chile and Bolivia, with whom it shares the Puna ecoregion of high Andean plains lined with the aid of grasses and shrubs.

The initiative cost 390 million bucks and is the latest reflection of China’s involvement within the Latin American financial system: now not simplest both development companies but also lots of the financing came from the Asian large.

An indigenous shepherd tending his llamas or a herd of wild vicuñas that flee as soon as they see a vehicle approaching are the most effective points of interest that entice the tourist’s attention – as IPS found on a recent consult with to the enviornment – in the solitude of the arid Cauchari environment, which covers some 800 hectares in the Argentine Puna, at an altitude of greater than four,000 metres.

Between September 2018 and October 2019, 2,664 vans with containers loaded with chinese accessories and technology arrived at this remote spot so far from the gigantic centres of electrical energy consumption, where water is scarce and it’s difficult to breathe on account of the altitude.

in the past they had disembarked in the Chilean port of Antofagasta, on the Pacific Ocean, or within the Argentinean port of Zarate, on the Atlantic.

“it is the biggest working photo voltaic park in South america and we agree with it a pretty good increase for changing the energy combine in the entire vicinity,” Guillermo Hoerth, president of Cauchari photo voltaic, a company owned by way of Jujuy province, informed IPS by using mobile.

“It is still too early to claim, as a result of we’re in a stage of adjustment and rely upon herbal phenomena, however is likely to be probably the most top-quality photo voltaic parks on this planet,” Hoerth added.

The president of the plant explained that the severe solar radiation throughout the yr is mixed with low temperatures, which support the panels hold heat and make the Puna an astonishing region for this classification of renewable energy.

Cauchari is the premier success story of the legislation of country wide merchandising of using Renewable Energies for the construction of electric power, handed by Congress in September 2015.

the brand new legislations modified the electric powered mix of this Southern Cone nation, which is the third-biggest economic system in Latin the united states, built except then very nearly exclusively by means of oil, herbal gas, enormous hydroelectric dams and, to a a lot lesser extent, nuclear power.

according to authentic statistics, a hundred thirty five new renewable energy tasks, generally solar and wind, had been launched in Argentina when you consider that 2016. those already in operation and those that are still under construction represent a combined total of 4,776 MW of installed power, with an estimated investment of close to 7.2 billion bucks.

the most photo reflection of the upward thrust in renewable sources, which beneath the law have priority over frequent sources, is that they accounted for 9.1 % of the electricity consumed in Argentina within the first 10 months of 2020 and climbed to a list eleven.9 % in October. although it should be stored in intellect that this passed off in a context of falling electrical energy consumption because of the drop in economic undertaking because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

accordingly, renewable sources, which unless three years ago represented below two p.c of electricity generation in Argentina, reached – with a moderate prolong – the intention of contributing eight percent of electric power, which legislations 27191 of 2015 had set for Dec. 31, 2017.

The law outlines a 2nd stage of the plan, with a intention of attaining 20 p.c through 2025. but consultants accept as true with this should be practically unattainable to obtain.

The world financial disaster and Argentina’s financing complications – this yr the country restructured just about 66 billion greenbacks of debt with deepest creditors and still owes some 52 billion dollars to the IMF – are major boundaries.

but they don’t seem to be the only ones.

“Argentina is a huge nation, with top notch knowledge for photo voltaic energy within the north and wind energy in the south,” economist Julián Rojo of the conventional Mosconi Argentine Institute of energy, a non-governmental research service provider, instructed IPS.

however “the problem is that for transporting electrical energy to the centres of consumption there is an absence of high voltage traces, which nowadays are near saturation. and there is no intention of investing in new ones,” he noted in a telephone conversation.

In Rojo’s view, Argentina doesn’t currently need extra electricity generation, as a result of top demand was reached in 2017 and, if critical, the nation has a vital fuel pipeline community that makes it more easy to construct thermal power flowers near the centres of consumption.

Making an offering to Pacha Mama for the expansion of the solar park

Marcelo Nieder, director of renewable power in Jujuy province, informed IPS that one of these remote area changed into chosen to build the Cauchari solar park no longer most effective as a result of the spectacular photo voltaic radiation within the Puna ecoregion, however also as a result of a excessive-voltage line inbuilt 1999 to export electrical energy to Chile passes throughout the area.

“Chile used it to deliver its mining industry, however considering 2006 Argentina stopped selling to Chile, so there was a chance to take abilities of the vigor line,” he defined by means of telephone from Jujuy, additionally the identify of the provincial capital.

because this excessive voltage line still has transport capability the governor of Jujuy, Gerardo Morales, visited Cauchari in October to make an providing to the Pacha Mama – mother Earth for the indigenous people of the Andean vicinity – and to ask for a spread of the photo voltaic park, up to 500 MW of vigour.

“we’ve already designed the growth and we’re making a bet that China will finance it, as in the case of the park that become already inaugurated,” Felipe Albornoz, president of Jujuy Energía y Minería Sociedad del Estado (JEMSE), the state-run power and mining company that manages Cauchari, advised IPS by using phone from the provincial capital.

China’s state-owned Eximbank financed most of the building, with a 330 million dollar personal loan that the province of Jujuy should pay back over 30 years, at an annual interest cost of two.9 p.c.

The last 60 million dollars have been got via a eco-friendly bond issued in the u.s., for which the province of Jujuy is making an attempt to delay the maturity date, in response to Albornoz.

The president of JEMSE explained that Jujuy expects to promote vigor to the countrywide electricity market for approximately 25 million dollars a year. The business initiatives that Cauchari will produce 840,000 MW/hour per yr, which might save the emission of 325,000 a whole bunch carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent into the environment, thanks to the discount within the use of fossil fuels.

Two percent of the web gains will go to Puesto Sey, a Kolla indigenous neighborhood that has collective rights over the land where there is now an infinite expanse of solar panels.

The irony is that Puesto Sey, like the different communities in the area, do not receive electrical energy from Cauchari as a result of they don’t seem to be connected to the national grid.

lots of the villages and small cities within the Puna, above all inhabited by Kolla indigenous people, are offered with electrical energy from diesel-fueled mills, however in contemporary years some small local photo voltaic parks were built.

Nor does Cauchari make a change these days when it comes to local employment, because although both-yr development method employed greater than 1,500 individuals, the plant itself most effective needs 60 to 70 enormously specialised technicians.

and maybe the most complicated question to reply is whether Argentina or some other Latin American nation will ever be capable of provide such huge renewable power tasks with local expertise.

Hoerth advised IPS that the development system led to a hundred million bucks to Jujuy’s home market, for the reason that 22.7 % of the plant’s electromechanical components had been domestically made.

although, the president of Cauchari mentioned the local manufacture of technology for renewable power sources continues to be a far off dream.

“I wish we may develop a national trade. however is very complicated as a result of China has reached such inexpensive fees that it has flooded the eu market,” he stated.

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