Uruguay has been running on 100% renewables for 4 months

AND the country has cut its production costs in half while creating 50,000 new jobs and becoming a net exporter of electricity.

Uruguay has been running on 100% renewables for 4 months
Photo by Pedro Slinger / Unsplash

According to this Progress Playbook article, Uruguay has been running on 100% renewables for four straight months now – cutting its production costs in half, creating 50,000 new jobs, and becoming a net exporter of electricity in the process.

The story of how they got there is pretty cool... sounds like the president back in 2008 was concerned about his country's growing demand for electricity and didn't want to increasingly rely on other countries for oil and gas, so he hired a particle physicist from the private sector to manage the country's energy development. Since then the country has committed itself to achieving total energy independence by developing its renewable energy resources, especially in wind. By 2016 it was generating 98% of its electricity from renewables and since this past summer, they have been running at 100%.

The explanation of how they generated the money to invest in renewables development is interesting:

Because the state couldn’t fund a massive energy programme alone, it ran a series of clean power auctions, where it offered project developers 20-year contracts to sell electricity into the national grid at guaranteed rates.

In just five years, $6 billion was invested in renewable energy — the equivalent of 12% of Uruguay’s GDP.


You can read the full article here.

(I also recommend listening to the podcast the article refers to or reading the transcript of their conversation at the link. Super interesting stuff!)

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