Thursday, October 18, 2007

Global warming may aggravate Argentine energy woes

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The effects of global warming could worsen Argentina's energy crunch in the coming years as water levels fall at some dams, and renewable options are costly and scarce, government officials said on Monday.

Less precipitation has been falling in some areas along the Andes mountain range in Argentina, lowering water levels at key hydroelectric plants in the Comahue region of Patagonia, for example.

This phenomenon could continue with average temperatures expected to rise by one degree during the 2020-2040 period, according to a study on climate change that Argentina will submit to the United Nations.

But with little technology transferred from developed nations and with energy prices largely frozen in the domestic market, few companies are investing in renewable energy sources, officials said.

"Humanity is looking downward for energy and it should be looking upward," Environment Secretary Romina Picolotti said, referring to the focus on underground reserves of oil and natural gas rather than on solar and wind power.

Here is the full article.