14 Jan Uruguay’s Eolic Energy Inspires the World
Eolic Energy may sound like a science fiction term to the uneducated ear, but it is little more than a fancy term for Wind Energy or Wind Power. A ship propelled by the wind in its sails, water pumped when wind rotates a windmill, and turbine blades moving to create electrical power are all examples of Eolic Energy. Wind, a renewable resource, is categorized as a “clean” energy.
While the majority of the world is still dependent on non-renewable fossil fuel resources such as coal and natural gas, Uruguay’s energy is 95% Eolic. The country achieved this impressive number without forced government subsidies or unreasonable costs to its 3.4 million citizens / consumers. The WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) has named Uruguay as one of the top Green Energy Leaders in the world, saying that the country is “defining global trends in renewable energy investment.”
One of the largest locations of wind farms is located on Route 5 going north from the nation’s capital city (and largest city), Montevideo. Within a two hundred mile stretch, rotating reliably in 8 miles per hour wind, are hundreds of 108 meter tall turbines. Because of wind farms, Uruguay’s vulnerability to drought has been reduced by 70%. Wind energy connected to hydro power plants help keep the water reservoirs full long after the country’s typical rainy season. This means that Uruguay does not have to rely on other countries such as Argentina to import electricity in an emergency.
Other countries have a lot of catching up to do with Uruguay. Leaders at the recent Climate Summit in Paris, France, acknowledged how deficient the rest of the world is in its clean energy compared to this South American country. It took Uruguay seven years, from 2008 to 2015, to drastically change its long term energy policies. Hopefully, with Uruguay to inspire them, everyone else will catch up in the next seven!