Uruguay

Index rank 46

Balance Score

ACC

Energy Sustainability Index Rankings and Balance Score

 2011  2012  2013  Trend Score
Energy Performance  31  35  47   
Energy Security  63  68  92  C
Energy Equity  66  66  67  C
Environmental Sustainability  8  5  5  A
         
Contextual Performance  60  53  56   
Political Strength  40  39  42   
Societal Strength  36  35  35   
Economic Strength  106  85  86   
         
Overall Rank  39  39  46  ACC
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Fossil Fuel Reserves

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Key Metrics

Industrial sector (% of GDP) 21.5
TPEP / TPEC  (net energy importer) 0.44
Emission intensity (kg CO2 per USD) 0.16
Energy affordability (USD per kWh) 0.16
GDP / capita (PPP, USD); GDP Group 15,112 (II)
Energy intensity (million BTU per USD) 0.10
CO2 emissions (metric tons CO2 per capita) 2.23
Population Access to Electricity (%) 99.1
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Index Commentary

A member of the ‘Hydro-powered’ country grouping, environmentally-friendly Uruguay drops seven spots in this year’s Index rankings. This is largely due to a relatively low energy security ranking as measured by the Energy Sustainability Index, something that is frequently observed among countries that rely heavily on hydropower. Uruguay’s energy consumption outpaces economic growth putting intense pressure on domestic energy production to meet the growing demand. Of particular concern is the country’s reliance on imported power from its neighbours, especially during times of peak demand. Performance on the energy equity dimension remains stable, despite rising gasoline prices. Due to its low-carbon electricity generation profile, Uruguay continues to rank among the best in the world at mitigating its impact on the environment, with low energy and emissions intensities and CO2 emissions from electricity generation falling even further this year. Contextually, Uruguay performs similarly to last year, with absolute performance improving the most on the education indicator.

Trends and Outlook

Uruguay has defined a long term (2030) National Energy Policy, approved by all political parties. The country has no proven oil, natural gas or coal reservoirs but a high availability of renewable energy sources. By carefully choosing renewable energy sources and technologies such as hydropower, wind energy, biomass cogeneration, and biofuels it was possible, without subsidies, to reach a 46% share of renewable energy in the 2011 energy mix (up from 30% in 2005). This has enhanced the energy sovereignty, sustainability and security.

Under the National Energy Policy, an additional 1,000 MW of wind energy and 200 MW of biomass power plants are to be installed by 2015 to meet growing demand. The average national power demand is currently 1,100 MW. By 2015, the share of renewable energy is to reach 50% of the energy mix and energy costs are expected to decrease. Furthermore, a re-gasification LNG plant is in the bidding process and 70% of the Uruguayan off-shore area is being explored for natural gas and oil. Between 2010 and 2015 US$7 billion is being invested in the energy sector (15% of the annual GDP).