16 March 2017 2017 08:00 AM GMT

World Bank Approves $480m Guarantee As Argentina Drives Towards Clean Energy

To achieve the target of 20 percent of energy consumption originating from renewable energy in Argentina by 2025, the World Bank Board of Directors have approved a US$ 480 million guarantee to promote private investment in the sector. The development of renewable energy sources in Argentina is crucial for diversifying the power grid and contributing to climate change mitigation.

“The support of the World Bank is facilitating progress in our country to achieve in a few months what was not done for a decade in renewable energy, contributing to our objective of guaranteeing our energy security and reducing climate change impacts”, said Juan José Aranguren, Minister of Energy and Mines of Argentina.

Specifically, the World Bank guarantee will support the Fund for the Development of Renewable Energy (FODER, in Spanish), which facilitates financing of projects under the RenovAr Program of the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mining. Related technologies include wind, solar, biomass, biogas and small hydroelectric. The initiative seeks to stimulate power generation from these sources to achieve the 20 percent renewable energy target by 2025.

“This project promotes private investment in renewable energy sources to help satisfy the growing energy demand in the country with a clean energy source that strengthens sustainable development,” said Jesko Hentschel, World Bank director for Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The RenovAr Program was implemented in 2016 through two tender rounds (known as Round 1 and Round 1.5) to award 59 projects. These projects will generate 2423 MW and will be implemented throughout the country. Of the total, 27 projects requested the World Bank guarantee, including 12 wind projects (721MW), 10 solar projects (306MW), four small-scale hydro projects (4MW) and one biogas project (1MW). Under RenovAr, Argentina has already seen two highly successful renewable energy auctions in which the government was very surprised by the high levels of interest in solar PV – enough to make it expand the capacity available for solar from 300MW to 400MW in the first round.

This transaction uses a 20-year World Bank guarantee to mobilise private-sector investments.

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