As the world gathers in Paris for the daunting task of switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, one small country on the other side of the Atlantic is making that transition look childishly simple and affordable.
In less than 10 years, Uruguay has slashed its carbon footprint without government subsidies or higher consumer costs, according to the national director of energy, Ramón Méndez .
In fact, he says that now that renewables provide 94.5% of the country’s electricity, prices are lower than in the past relative to inflation. There are also fewer power cuts because a diverse energy mix means greater resilience to droughts.
Hydropower provides around 60% of installed production capacity in Uruguay, almost all of it produced by four hydroelectric facilities, three on the Rio Negro and one, the Salto Grande dam shared with Argentina, on the Uruguay River. The production from these hydropower sources is dependent on seasonal rainfall patterns, but under normal hydrological conditions, can supply off-peak domestic demand.
Isn’t that lovely. So, we’re to dam the Thames and the Severn every 5 miles now, are we?
And what’s truly lovely about the article is that it praises the wind, solar, biomass plants, acknowledges that the country does have hydropower. But it never actually says how much hydropower it has.
The fact is, no one at all has decarbonised as yet without extensive use of either or both nuclear and or hydropower. and yet that’s what we’re being urged to do…..