Argentina has been a member of World Energy Council since its creation in 1923, when it was part of the Argentine Engineers’ Center. In 1991 it became an independent NGO with its own legal standing. CACME’s mission is “to promote and support the World Energy Council's efforts, aimed to enhance a sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all people”. CACME aims to collaborate in the process of transforming the national energy sector, through the communication of global trends and the dissemination of the work and reports of the World Energy Council. CACME was chosen to organise the first World Energy Congress in Latin America in 2001.
Andrea Heins serves as Chair of the Argentine Committee of the World Energy Council.
She has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry, working in the private and public sector, and as independent consultant. She is the former Undersecretary of Energy Efficiency and Savings at the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Argentina thru mid-2018. In this position, she was the vice-chair of the Energy Transitions Working Group under Argentine G20 Presidency and co-chair at the Executive Committee of IPEEC (International Partnership on Energy Efficiency Cooperation).
In the past, she performed as senior consultant in energy efficiency for the industry sector and worked for 14 years at YPF (Argentinian national oil and gas Company) in the Technology and Engineering Divisions, where she held different leading positions in the areas of Engineering and Technology.
She is the chair of Energy Efficiency Commission at the Argentine Institute of Petroleum and Gas (IAPG) and Expert Member in the Awards Selection Committee for the “Energy Management Leadership Awards”, organized by the Clean Energy Ministerial (2017 – present). Currently, she works as independent consultant on energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development.
Graciela has a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the National University of Buenos Aires. She completed her education and specialization in energy issues with postgraduate courses in Argentina, Spain (UNESA), France (Electricite de France) and Canada (Quebec Ministry of Production).
Beyond her energy background, she has also completed studies related with environmental topics: Master in Environmental Management, Clean Development Mechanisms and Climate Change Courses.
She has specialized in electric systems planning, starting her career in the former state-owned company, Agua y Energía Eléctrica.
During her years in the state owned energy company in Neuquén province, EPEN, she was Executive Manager in charge of planning and CEO of the company , being responsible for the planning and execution for development of power generation, transport and distribution in the province. She has also been responsible for the Educational Program for the Efficient Use of Energy and Development of new sources, materializing brand new non renewable energy projects as micro-hydroelectric power plants and solar energy supply programs for isolated areas.
Energy in Argentina
Argentina presents opportunities in the areas of Digitalisation, Climate Change Management and Commodity Prices. Opportunities also continue to be seen in the diversification of the country's energy matrix. Through the Issues Survey, energy leaders have identified renewables and demographic patterns as the top Action Priorities, maintaining a similar perspective to last year’s results.
Among the Critical Uncertainties, investor environment and economic growth are on the lead, with direct reference to the country's overall macroeconomic situation.
During 2021, electricity generation from renewable energies continued to grow in Argentina, within the framework of a series of public policies to accompany this growth. During 2021, 26 projects were enabled in 10 provinces, contributing to add 1,000MW of renewables-based power. Throughout the year, a historical peak of 28.84% of total national generation was reached. It is expected that with a change in the regulatory framework and clear incentives, companies would be willing to invest and thus continue to strengthen the renewable energy network.
It is worth noting that, during 2021, the technology that contributed the most generation in the year was wind (74%), followed by solar photovoltaic (13%), small hydro (7%) and bioenergy (6%), according to data from the Compañía Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Eléctrico Sociedad Anónima (CAMMESA). Of the projects inaugurated in 2021, 42.3% corresponded to wind technology, 30.8% to bioenergy, 15.4% to solar photovoltaic and 11.5% to small hydropower (SHP).
These developments can explain leaders’ perception of renewable energies as a top priority, and the view that Argentina has a great opportunity to diversify its energy matrix.
With regards to the main uncertainties reflected in the Argentina survey, during 2021 the decision to freeze energy tariffs as a strategy to support lower-income families remained a focal point. Inflation remained high, reaching 50.9 % in 2021. Both factors challenge the establishment of an environment where energy efficiency and sustainability can be prioritised on the country's agenda.
A break point, which provides an encouraging outlook, is the possible agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which would allow stability and the announcement by the Ministry of Economy of the removal of tariff subsidies in order to reduce the fiscal deficit and narrow the gap in the real cost of energy.
By 2022, Argentina is expected to have a growth of 2.6%, according to the World Bank. In addition, many of the regulations that are required as part of the necessary regulatory framework are expected to be finalised this year.
Similarly, the National Government has chosen the development of green hydrogen as a clear commitment to the energy diversification of the country, given the positive prospects of hydrogen in the decarbonisation of certain uses (fuel for industry, transport, etc.) and the auspicious conditions of the Argentine system (availability of renewable energies, need for exports).
Finally, it is important to clarify that the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development announced that it expects to present the Decarbonisation Plan in 2022, which was originally due to be presented in November 2021. With the presentation of the commitments and a plan with incentives and new regulations, added to the potential and opportunities that exist with the incorporation of technology, digitalisation accompanied by investments in R&D, this presents an opportunity for the development of sustainable environmental sustainability strategies.
Argentina Member Committee
Alejo Da Bouza