Due to the large quantity of offers that were tendered in the first round of the so called Renovar Plan, the administration is currently analyzing the launching of the second round. In the first round, in which the awards would be announced on October 12, there were offers for 6,346 MW when the quota to be assigned is of 1,000 MW. The success in mainly based on the changes introduced by the new administration that makes Argentine a more attractive market, and also due to the guarantees provided to the projects, mainly through the public trust fund FODER and the World Bank.
It should be noted that most of the offers focused on wind and solar energy, while in respect of biogas and biomass the offers were lower than the available quota. In biomass, there are projects for 44.6 MW of 65 MW, and in biogas there are projects for 8.4 MW of 15 MW. It has been argued that the terms and conditions were not appropriate for these type of projects, which generally are developed on a small scale and tend to have a long amortization term in comparison to other renewables sources. The terms and conditions are being reviewed in this regard, and they are also considering to launch a separate bid for biomass and biogas. These renewable sources have a strong potential, especially in the agribusiness sector, since they are based in the conversion of organic waste into energy, either for self-consumption or to supply the national grid. Biomass uses different types of organic waste to create electricity through combustion, while biogas energy requires a bio-digester. In Argentina, there would be already more than 100 companies with bio-digester plants for effluent treatment, but only 15% of them uses the biogas that is generated. It will be important to incorporate incentives for the incorporation of this self-generated energy based on organic waste into the national grid.
In relation with the recent ups and downs in relation with utilities tariffs increases, the authorities are confident that these will not impact in renewable energy generation projects. This is so always that a change in the final price to the consumers does not affect the companies that enter into a PPA for the generation of energy, while it will affect distributors due to the difference between the price and the costs.
The annalists stressed that it is important to develop more high voltage transmission lines. This an investment that should be carried out by the state, in order to improve the access to the national grid in remote areas that are rich in renewable sources, and increase the capacity. As an example, Argentina would be one of the top five countries in wind energy potential, with resources that would allow the generation of 2,000 GW (currently, 430 GW are being generated throughout the world), but the best winds are in wide isolated areas in the Patagonia region.
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