MAY 16, 2016 6:10 PM PDT

Argentina's impressive solar strides

 
The northern region of Argentina, Jujuy, is making strides in solar energy enviable by the rest of the world. The country just recently revealed its plans to produce 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy projects in Jujuy. That’s equivalent to 3,000 megawatts (MW)! The average number of homes powered by 1 MW of solar photovoltaics is 164 homes. Although that number varies depending on average sunshine, temperature, wind and household electricity consumption, Jujuy’s production will still be gigantic.

Two organizations in Argentina, Allianz and Foundation EcoAndina, have worked during the last five years with the objective of supplying solar energy to a town in Jujuy named San Juan y Oros. Research from Energía Limpia XXI, a local clean energy organization, indicate that the small town of San Juan y Oros, which is located only 6 kilometers southwest from the border of Bolivia and 3,800 meters above sea level, is one of the regions in the world that receives the most direct sunlight. In 2016 they will continue working to implement clean energy in school cafeterias in the province’s capital.

In order to supply solar energy to the town and the families that live there, Allianz and Fundación EcoAndina have constructed a tank of potable water, a community solar bathroom equipped with showers, toilets, and sinks with hot water, 19 solar family kitchens, as well as a heating system for the school and a school solar kitchen that has a solar oven to make bread for the students.

Argentina’s president, Mauricio Macri, commented: “Jujuy and Northern Argentina can be a place for the future generation of solar energy and is an example of what we can do for Argentina and the world.” Apart from Jujuy, 10 provinces in northern Argentina are also included in the plan, which has been named “Plan Belgrano.” This is part of the country’s commitments made during the COP21 talks in Paris last year.

“The development plans will be supported partly via aid from the federal government there. Current plans call for the region of Jujuy to receive at least 8% of its electricity via renewable energy projects by 2017, and to receive at least 70% of these electricity needs 8–9 years from now,” explains Solar Energy Industries Association.
Sources: Solar Energy Industries Association, Energia Limpia Para Todos, Clean Technica, Al Jezeera
About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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