The tiny South American nation of Uruguay is mostly known for producing talented footballers and tourism, but not many people know that they are also excelling in the field of renewable energy as it has invested more than 7 billion dollars in recent years on Solar, Wind and Biomass-based electricity generation that accounts for more than 15 percent of its entire GDP. As a result of these efforts, more than 55 percent of the total electricity generation is now based on renewables and the country aims to take it eventually to a hundred percent in the coming decades.
This is an amazing achievement from the government as the country isn’t that wealthy to be able to afford this kind of aggressive conversion to renewable energy, but prioritising it over all other forms of electricity generation is a bold initiative that will certainly pay dividends to the Uruguayans in the long-run. The country also pledged a lot in the international environmental summit in Paris where it vowed to reduce Carbon emissions by a mammoth 88 percent by as early as 2017. It has also completely ended its reliance of power generation on oil and seeks to be entirely Carbon neutral by 2030, which couldn’t be promised by any other nation like USA, UK or even Canada. The new development has also allowed it to reduce its considerable import bill with a new gas pipeline also scrapped from neighboring Argentina to continue to stick with the green energy principle.
A majority of the new energy is being generated by modern wind turbines. Travelling across the countryside shows us the remarkable development in the renewable energy field in the form of countless windmills and biomass power generation plants totalling thousands of megawatts. Since the government has agreed in principle to buying the power at a good price, more and more competitors are pouring into the market and contributing towards the renewable energy boom of the small South American nation. Enercon and Nordex are now aiming to achieve a milestone of 1 GW of wind energy and are already very close to achieving that. It is also making considerable progress in Solar energy as well.
Due to the commitment from Uruguay, the country has been recognized as one of the world’s leaders in Green Energy and brought praise from the World Bank and Economic Commission for Latin America. The world needs to follow the Uruguayan model more!