Solar panels.Photo ALP Group
While the Government is in the process of updating electricity and gas rates to indicate significant increases for users, companies undertaking alternative or renewable energy projects are preparing for the growth in demand. Expectations are more concentrated on the part of distributed generation, where the installation of solar panels in homes or companies allows to reduce the consumption of electricity taken from the network from its own generation.
In terms of distributed generation, as Marcelo Alvarez, director of the Chamber of Renewable Energies (CADER), explained, “about 12 MW have been installed so far, most of which are solar photovoltaic and concentrated in the province of Cordoba, typically because there are triple rates in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area and because there is financing, ”he said.
“In this sense,” is expected with the honesty of tariffs, investing in distributed generation becomes more attractive and clearly the key is financing “, He says.
Tomás Otaola, who manages the company Terba Energy, which manages the installation of solar generators, ensures that “Solar energy allows industries to save up to 70% on production costs” And elaborates the following analysis: “small and large industries have a problem: they may continue to pay for subsidized electricity with serious distribution problems and lack of investment causing continued reductions as a result, or increasing rates to have of “better quality”, but there is a risk of becoming unpaid, ”he said.
Evolution of generating users, according to data from the Secretary of Energy.
Also, in the case of households, “when problems with subsidies start or people see a projection of a rate increase, they also look for an opportunity to generate its own energy because it gives it more predictability, ” said the businessman.
In recent months, the increase in consultations and preliminary projects has been overwhelming, according to Terba energy’s experience. “We have grown (which was slightly favored by the pandemic) by 300% in the number of kilowatts installed,” Otaola said. The core of the business is the installation of solar equipment that captures the sun’s energy, converts it into continuous electric current, manages the power and combines the energy of the panels into the network.
These renewable energy projects that seek not only economic efficiency but also environmental protection have achieved wider spread after the entry into force of the National Law of Distributed Generation, (27,424) in 2019 which promotes benefits for the province that complies with it. Exactly, in April the province of Buenos Aires joined, which, the expectation is that “it can grow more”, they assure the sector.
When the law was passed, 67 generator users, and this year, in April that number rose to 827, of which 15% are residential users, according to data from the Secretary of Energy. The rest correspond to companies. Also the kilowatts generated -only in this segment- are from 851kw in 2019 to the current 12,060kw.
About the macro situation of the sector, which includes the development of alternative energy in large solar parks, less progress. The current situation, according to the director of CADER, is “last year 12.5% of electricity demand was covered when the target was 16%, according to Law 27191,”We are below the goal although particular records were achieved with almost 30% coverage of immediate power demand on days of strong winds and low demand, ”he said.
Total installed capacity by jurisdiction. Source: Secretary of Energy.
The barriers faced today, according to the manager, are the macroeconomic problems, interest rates and guarantees to access local or international financing, the limitation on networks and the lack of joint purchases of Cammesa. ”“ According to Alvarez, the mechanisms of Renovar rounds have not been replaced by anything . For this reason, we are less than the goal proposed last year, “he concluded.