URUGUAY - Renewable Energy Champion

Arno Froese

Back in 2007, Uruguay had a massive problem with no obvious fix. The economy of this country of 3.5 million people was growing, but there wasn’t enough energy to power all that growth. There was energy rationing, and people’s power bills kept going up.

“It was difficult for us to cope,” Ramón Méndez Galain remembers. “It was difficult to get electricity. For some time, we were beginning to have blackouts.”

He started researching different potential paths for Uruguay’s energy future and reaching out to experts he knew around the world. Ultimately, he wrote up an entire plan for how Uruguay could change its energy mix so that it relied almost entirely on renewable energy. There would be less pollution, it would be better for the climate, and, he thought, in the long run, it would be the most economical choice Uruguay could make.

His scheme had the built-in advantage of pushing the billions of dollars in upfront cost to construct all those wind turbines onto the private companies. In exchange, the public utility would agree to buy all the energy those turbines produced at a set rate for 20 years. 

In 2011, Uruguay held an auction intended to secure 150 megawatts of new wind power, which would have represented about 5% of the country’s energy generating capacity. After more than 20 different companies threw in their bids, Méndez Galain and his team decided to radically accelerate their timeline for the country’s energy transition. 

They accepted far more bids than they had originally planned, signing contracts that increased Uruguay’s capacity to generate electricity not by 5%, but by more than 40%. 

Within a few years of Méndez Galain receiving that phone call inviting him to become the national director of energy, he had achieved what he had set out to do. Uruguay’s energy grid was powered almost exclusively by domestically created, renewable energy, and, adjusted for inflation, consumer prices had gone down. Today, there are more than 700 wind turbines installed across Uruguay’s countryside. 

-www.npr.org, 6 October 2023

Arno's Commentary

The population of Uruguay stands at 3.4 million people, with a rather high life expectancy of 78.7 years and per capita GDP of $22,800 (2021). The country bordered by Argentina, Brazil, and the South Atlantic Ocean, has garnered attention from nations around the world regarding their relatively successful natural energy creation from wind farms. However, energy requirements are increasing drastically, not only in Uruguay but also globally. Thus, continuously more renewable sources must be discovered and developed to offset traditional energy sources such coal, oil, and gas.

One can read many fascinating statistics regarding the progress of the planet in producing clean energy, but it becomes obvious that it will be all but impossible to meet the global demand for renewable energy, based on today’s progress.

What is the future? For one thing, we know that the entire global economy will one day collapse. What is the alternative? Revelation 21 proclaims: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it” (Revelation 21:23-24).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety