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Explaining the slow diffusion of new renewable energy in the Argentine electricity market : a wrong policy mix or an unfavourable context ?


  • German Bersalli

    () (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes)


The production and consumption of electricity in Latin America has grown strongly in recent decades (about 4% per year) with an increasing share coming from fossil fuels, which has led to an increase in the carbon intensity of the electricity production. Large hydro still represents a substantial part of the electricity mix in most Latin-American countries. However, the construction of new dams has slowed mainly due to their local environmental consequences. In the last decade, most of these countries showed a growing interest in developing renewable energy technologies (RETs) for power generation, especially wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and small hydroelectric dams. This interest is explained primarily by the need of diversifying the power mix and increase security of supply. Additionally, other policy objectives have been considered, such as the electrification of isolated rural areas, the decrease of energy imports, the creation of new jobs and the reduction of GHG emissions. The latter goal became especially important after the COP21 (Paris, 2015), in which most countries agreed to follow decarbonisation pathways for their economies which means, among other measures, an increased effort to develop green energy. In this context, governments have set relatively ambitious targets and implemented public policies to encourage investment in RETs and thus take advantage of the great potential available. Different policy instruments have been implemented: tax exemptions, feed-in tariffs, feed-in premium, auction systems, tradable certificates, etc. However, even though many years of government effort and public resources have been invested in order to speed up the development, diffusion and implementation of RETs, experiences in different countries show that this is a very slow process. The current share of RETs is still low (or extremely low depending on the country), especially when compared to the ambitions of policy objectives. Support policies for RETs in Argentina is an interesting case to analyse the effectiveness of incentive mechanisms in a context of high risk perception. Recent experience in the electricity sector shows that the application of several theoretically effectives instruments did not produce the expected results despite the large potential available. Could it be explained by a failure in the design and implementation of the main promotion tools or by one unfavorable economic and institutional context and the related barriers?

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  • German Bersalli, 2016. "Explaining the slow diffusion of new renewable energy in the Argentine electricity market : a wrong policy mix or an unfavourable context ?," Post-Print hal-01338856, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01338856
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    Electricity Market; Renewable energies integration; Argentine;

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