Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
Argentina's PAEPRA (Programa de Abastecimiento Eléctrico a la Población Rural de Argentina) was established in 1995 and the PERMER (Proyecto de Energía Renovable en el Mercado Eléctrico Rural) project was subsequently designed to support it.
The main development goal of PERMER is to improve the quality of life of rural inhabitants who have not been reached by the Electric Transformation Programme. It will aim to achieve this objective through:
provision of an electricity service that meets the basic needs of lighting and social communication, with decentralised supply sources based on technologies mainly using renewable resources;
promotion of the participation of the private sector in the provision of this supply so as to achieve the sustainability of the project;
strengthening the institutional capacity of regulation agencies with reference to the implementation and use of renewable energies;
improvement of information on sources of renewable energies existing in the country.
The project is financed by a US$ 30 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a US$ 10 million donation from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and contributions from the provinces, service concession companies, service users (through tariffs) and the Ministry of Education (for schools), plus a minimum contribution from the National Treasury.
Investigations have found that more than 2 million rural inhabitants and 6 000 public services (schools, health care centres, water services, police, civil registries, etc.) lack an electricity supply. In order for these rural sites to be supplied with electricity, a combination of PV, wind, micro water turbines and/or diesel generators will be utilised.
The Electrification of the Dispersed Electric Market (MED), foreseen in the PERMER project, will supply solar home systems (SHS) for stand-alone installations, but the method of generation for community schemes will be chosen from the range of renewables available and according to the lowest cost at the time. Private companies, established in the relevant Argentine provinces, will implement the project.
The WEC Member Committee for Argentina reports that during 2003-2005 PV facilities were installed under PERMER in households, schools and first-aid stations. At the end of 2005, solar photovoltaic capacity was around 9 000 kW, including 2 000 kW on farms, according to Census data and facilities in the provinces of Buenos Aires, Jujuy, Mendoza, Neuquén, Salta and Santa Fe not included in Project PERMER.
Estimated electrical output from PV facilities in 2005 was 14 000 MWh, assuming an average of 4 daily hours of sunlight and individual consumption of about 100/150 Wp in the residential sector; 600 Wp in schools and 300 Wp in first-aid stations.