Uruguay has embraced renewable energy for economic reasons and has been named one of the top twenty “green leaders” in an MIT study.
Green innovation to cut costs
Just twenty years ago, Uruguay was heavily dependent on other nations including neighbour Argentina for oil—which accounted for almost 30% of its imports. However between 2010 and 2016, Uruguay invested US$ 7.8 billion in energy infrastructure, and by 2019 renewable energy provided the country with nearly 97% of its electricity.
The rapid diversification of Uruguay’s electricity sector began a decade ago as the government saw renewables, especially wind energy, as a way to cut electricity generation costs. Rebecca Bertram writing for Energy Transition.org, attributes the success to transparent decision-making, a supportive regulatory environment and the strong partnership between the public and private sector.
Nowadays Uruguay is exporting its excess energy abroad. And Uruguay had reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 88 percent by 2017 against the 2009-2013 average.
The perfect geography for alternative energy generation
As a country of gently-rolling countryside, stable wind conditions of about eight miles per hour and hundreds of miles of ocean and river coastline Uruguay is an ideal location for solar, wind and hydro power generation.
Uruguay is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of wind energy production, together with Denmark, Ireland and Germany, with more than a third of its electricity coming from wind farms.
Uruguay, Canada and Costa Rica – the sole green leaders in the Americas
Now Uruguay has been named one of the top twenty “green leaders” in the world according to the Green Future Index 2021 by MIT.
The Green Future Index is a research program by MIT Technology Review Insights. It measures the degree to which 76 countries are pivoting towards a green future by reducing their carbon emissions, moving to energy transition, green society, clean innovation and climate policy.
Uruguay is ranked 20th. It is one of only three countries—the other two are Costa Rica and Canada– in the top 20 from the Americas. Fifteen other leaders are from Europe.
Uruguay was ranked 10th in energy transition. A high score means that renewable energy is grown quickly and contributes a higher share of the overall energy mix. Uruguay also ranked 10th in the clean innovation pillar.
Cover photo: Eolic energy windmills at countryside landscape in Maldonado outskirts, Uruguay.
Uruguay has embraced renewable energy for economic reasons and ranks in the world’s top twenty green leaders, according to MIT.
40% of Roman Catholics live in Latin America but as usual Uruguay does its own thing. There’s complete separation of church and state for almost 100 years.
Montevideo – the capital of the friendliest country in South America. And it’s Uruguay’s version of ‘Pride’–known as the Diversity March–this Friday!
Not only does Uruguay have Latin America’s first ‘earthship’ school, but soon it’ll have the first ecological bioconstruction hotel in historic Colonia.
When he became famous in the 1960s Alfredo Zitarrosa’s record sales rivalled The Beatles’ in Montevideo. He took Uruguayan folklore music and made it cool.
In 2013, the Uruguayan parliament voted unanimously (62-0) to turn Uruguayan waters into a protected area for whales and dolphins.
Anyone that knows Uruguayan politics will not be surprised at the seemingly audacious policy to legalise cannabis. It’s part of a long political tradition.
“Businesses welcome guidance around what’s appropriate and respectful.” Uruguay certified the first officially gay friendly market in Latin America.
Weed is legal in Uruguay but as a non-resident you won’t be able to buy cannabis. But you can receive gifts & smoke in public.
The Cannabis Museum puts the country’s ground-breaking legislation in context and explains, why for Uruguayans, it’s not as radical as you might think.
A piano sits in the open air in a square in Montevideo. And anyone’s welcome to play it. See what happens…
Montevideo is often overshadowed by Buenos Aires. Three well-travelled bloggers tell what made them fall in love with South America’s off-the-radar capital.