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Case study of the hydropower development in Argentina Essay

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In this paper I would also discuss one more case of the hydropower regulation and assessment. The next country to be discussed is Argentina. This country also possesses considerable hydropower potential. It has been estimated that the country has the potential of production of 169,000 GWh/year . Argentina relies in its future development on hydropower as a source of energy. That’s why its scientists resort to close examination of various aspects of hydropower development and impact on environment and society.

Great emphasis is also placed on the financial aspect of hydropower development and legal regulation of hydroelectric plants and dams construction.

Therefore, Argentina greatly relies on sustainable development, which can be defined as “the process which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” . Sustainable development of the hydropower potential of the country requires deep consideration and cooperation of three basic components – economic growth, environmental security and social justice .

There are several acts, which serve the legal basis of the hydropower development in Argentina.

One of the most important of them is The Electricity Regulatory Framework Law, which implemented the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (ENRE). ENRE is an independent item, which operates within the framework of the Secretariat of State for Energy. The latter in its turn creates the regulations, which control the work of the electricity industry .

The Energy Secretariat (SENER) is the legislative component, which is responsible for the energy policy implementation. Within its frame this legislative body has one more component, the National Electricity Regulator (ENRE), which is responsible for actual application of the regulatory framework stated in the Law 26,046 of 1991 . ENRE is responsible for regulation and supervision of whole energy sector under federal control, while the other utilities are regulated by provincial regulators.

The other important regulatory body of the energy sector is CAMMESA (Compania Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Electrico), which supervises whole wholesale electricity market through establishing the price of electricity, operating the electricity system and the controlling the commercial transactions in the electricity market Very important role in the energy sector of Argentina is given to the Electric Power Federal Council (CFEE), which was established in 1960 and currently plays the role of the administrator of the Funds, which given to special electricity operations.

CFEF also performs consulting function of the National and the Provincial Governments regarding the power industry, new projects and researches, public and private energy services, and electricity tariffs and prices as well as changes in the legislative base of the power industry The National Promotion Direction (DNPROM) within the Energy Secretariat (SENER) regulates creation and implementation of programs concerning renewable energies and energy efficiency. The Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) is in charge of the questions concerning environmental policy.

The legal basis of Argentina concerning the energy is Law 25,019 from 1998 and Law 26,190, from 2007. Changes to this law, made in 2007, focus on the national interest in renewable energy sources in regard with the public services. The law states that within the next ten years the consumption of the energy, produced from the renewable sources, will grow up to 8 %. The other main point is that law establishes a Trust Fund, which promotes the development of the renewable energy. Hydropower is recently viewed in Argentina as a potential key source of energy.

On the one hand its advantages are clearly visible: it has less negative impact on the climate change as compared with fossil fuels, it’s relatively clean and environmentally-friendly, low-cost and renewable. However, not all the researchers are so optimistic. Many of them claim that hydropower plants have a negative influence on surrounding area and society. As one more proof they point at additional expenses in case of shortfalls . Sometimes, these disadvantages are even overemphasized, which presents hydropower in the negative light, or even present it as potentially dangerous.

In the process of the research I found a very interesting fact, showing that such claims for the most part come from the most unexpected source – NGOs, the primary intention of which is conservation. However, in this process they seem to completely disregard such important aspects of the country development as poverty alleviation, obtaining a valuable source of cheap energy and promotion of the safe water environment, which can be provided by hydropower plants .

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the hydropower plants in Argentina is based on the Sustainable Guidelines of the International Hydropower Association, which focus on environmental, social and economic aspects of the hydropower plant construction and operation . In order to develop new hydropower projects in accordance with the newest ecological and social requirements, Argentina greatly relies on five key areas characterized by Dr. Kofi Annan on the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. These five key areas include: water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity . Conclusions.

So, in this paper I investigated the role of the hydropower as an alternative source of environment, associated expenses and benefits to the society. I also made a review of the history of the hydropower as a source of energy and compared it with the other sources. I made an overview of the legislative base of two countries – China and Argentina concerning hydropower energy and their potential of development of the hydropower as an alternative source of energy.

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BP Annual Report, 2006, Online. Available from: <http:///www. bp. com> 30 September 2007. Burdge, R. J. , A Community Guide to Social Impact Assessment, Middleton, USA, Social Ecology Press, 2004. China Passes Renewable Energy Law, Online. Available from: <http:///www. renewableenergyaccess. com> 2005. Coordinacion de Energias Renovables, Potencial de los aprovechamientos energeticos en la Republica Argentina, 2006. Devoto, A. , Hydroelectric power and development in Argentina, ENTE Nacional Regulador de la Electicidad, 2005. Graham, I. , Water Power, Austin, TX, Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1999.

Hydropower, Online. Available from: < > 30 September 2007. Interorganizational Committee on Principles and Guidelines for Social Impact Assessment , 2003. Integrated Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Guidelines. Tunis: African Development Bank, 2003. Online. Available at: <http://www. afdb. org/pls/portal. docs/PAGE/ADB_ADMIN_PG/DOCUMENTS/ENVIRONMENTALANDSOCIALASSESSMENTS/IESIA. PDF> International Association for Impact Assessment, Online.

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Evaluacion de las inversiones necesarias para el sector electrico nacional en el mediano plazo. Camara Argentina de la Construccion, 2006. Rules of land compensation and people resettlement in medium and large hydraulic and hydroelectricity projects. State Council, 1991. Ryan, V. Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydropower, Online. Available from: <http://www. technologystudent. com/energy1/hydr2. htm> 30 September 2007. Summer of International dissent against Heavy Industry, Saving Iceland. Online. Available from: <http:///www. savingisland. org> 30 September 2007 Sadler, B. , Verocai, I. & Frank Vanclay.

Environmental and Social Impact. Assessment for Large Scale Dams. Middleton, WI: The Social Ecology Press, 2000 Taylor CN, Bryan CH, Goodrich CG. Social Assessment: theory, process and techniques. Middleton, WI, The Social Ecology Press, 2004. The Historic Mechanicville Hydroelectric Station, IEEE Industry Applications Magazine, Jan/Feb. 2007 Tremblay, V. , Roehm and Garneau, Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Fluxes and Processes, Springer, 2005. Xiaogang, Yu & Jia Jiguo. An Overview of Participatory Social Impact Assessment for Manwan Hydropower Station in Lancang River. Asian Science and Technology Institute, 2000.

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