No More Business As Usual Blog

Renewable energy investment

Uruguay makes a dramatic shift to nearly 95% electricity from clean energy. The country is defining global trends in renewable energy investment.

In less than 10 years, Uruguay has slashed its carbon footprint without government subsidies or higher consumer costs. They have added Biomass and Solar power to their existing hydropower. The country relies on a mixture of energy resources including wind turbines, solar power, hydropower, and biomass. .....  this means that renewables now account for 55% of the country’s overall energy mix (including transport fuel) compared with a global average share of 12%. 

Renewables provide 95% of the country’s electricity, and prices are lower than in the past relative to inflation. There are also fewer power cuts because a diverse energy mix means greater resilience to droughts.

According to Ramón Méndez, Uruguay’s head of climate policy - the key to success is rather dull but encouragingly replicable: clear decision-making, a supportive regulatory environment and a strong partnership between the public and private sector.“What we’ve learned is that renewables is just a financial business,” Méndez says. “The construction and maintenance costs are low, so as long as you give investors a secure environment, it is a very attractive.”

Méndez further attributes Uruguay’s success to the fact that investors have discovered clean energy makes good business sense. Uruguay’s state utility guarantees fixed energy prices for 20 years, which has encouraged foreign companies like the German wind power firm Enercon to build plants.  Read More

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