2014 figures showed hydropower electricity generation accounting for 74%; 7% originated from fossil fuels; 13% from biomass and 6% from wind power which together represents a noticeable shift when compared to 2005 (87% hydropower and 13% fossil fuels). Following the Council of Ministers meeting that took place on 4 May at the Executive tower, the Minister for Industry, Energy and Mines, Carolina Cosse, assured that these figures are significant for the productive development and energy independence of the country. She also commented that investment in the change of energy matrix would result in the UTE, the state-owned power company, avoiding a million dollar extra cost and that in 2015, wind power would continue to grow, as mentioned in a press release published by the President of the Republic.
Cosse advised that in 2005, electricity generation was 87% based on hydropower and 13% on fossil fuels. At as the close of 2014, the energy generation matrix was 74% hydropower; 7% fossil fuels; 13% biomass and 6% wind power. As regards daily consumption in 2015 she noted that one third corresponded to wind power of a period of a few days, leading to expectations that figures for this year will close in excess of 6%.
As regards saving, she advised that by not having undertaken investments to change the energy mix, with the barrel of crude at US$60, the UTE would have to assume an additional cost of US$200M in generation. With the barrel standing at US$75, the additional cost would be US$250M.
According to the Minister, the authorities are committed to following this path and examining ways to develop capacity based on new energy sources.
Even though non-renewable sources continue to represent a high percentage of the matrix, around 82%, a reduction in dependence on hydropower is being seen. As such, the Council of Ministers highlighted the effort made by the country and the importance of the energy matrix as regards the development of the economy and the autonomy resulting from reduced dependence on climate issues.
Energy Efficiency Programme 2015
The minister advised that the MIEM, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining, is working on a draft that is almost completed, of the Energy Efficiency Programme for this year. It main initiatives were presented at the first Energy Round Table that took place on 30 April in which the MIEM, workers (via the PIT-CNT trade unions), UTE, ANCAP (the state oil company), private generation companies and the Universidad de la República took part.
The programme will be submitted to the cabinet in the near future and, subject to acceptance, will be published. It includes sectoral and other general measures including stimuli for the private sector, actions by the public sector, labelling plans for buildings and competitions to promote energy efficiency.
“We had an energy avoidance target in 2014 of 1.690 Ktons oil equivalent, which represents 45% of all the energy consumed during 2012. This will be the energy avoidance target for the period 2015-2024”, she explained.