Yesterday Argentine officials requested Uruguay sell “all the available” thermal energy it had to Argentina to cope with record electricity consumption bought on by high temperatures.
According to data from Uruguay’s Electricity Market Management (ADME) up to 500 megawatts/hour where sold to its neighbour during the working day yesterday.
Speaking to the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador Ramon Mendez, national director of Energy Uruguay said, “This is not the first time that, as a result of a significant deficit in Argentina, Uruguay has sent very important volumes of energy in relation to their system.”
Yesterday countrywide energy consumption reached a record high of 23,334 MW at 3pm. The previous record of 22,552 MW was recorded on 22nd July this year.
Thousands of people in the city and province of Buenos Aires suffered outages in water and power yesterday, with problems continuing today. Users on Twitter have recorded blackouts in the neighbourhoods of: Palermo, Belgrano, Núñez, Characrita, Colegiales, Caballito, Once, Almagro, Villa Crespo, Villa Devoto, Villa Urquiza, Flores, Saavedra and Mataderos.
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich this morning asked for residents to ration their energy use and said “when the temperature rises above 32 degrees average” over a number of days, the electric system is strained.
“Energy demand is growing because more Argentines have gained access to employment” and therefore access to more durable goods, such as air conditioning, which causes higher consumption, said Capitanich.
The cabinet chief added that he had “no formal notice” of the purchase of energy from Uruguay.
He said the government had made significant investment in energy production and blamed energy distributors for the blackouts, saying they “must invest” to “ensure the provision” to consumers.
Yesterday, Planning Minister Julio de Vido said the country did not suffer from a lack of electricity production but poor infrastructure and increased consumption were to blame for blackouts that affected various parts of the city.
Temperatures in the City of Buenos Aires are predicted to reach 36 degrees on Tuesday and highs will remain above 30 for the rest of the week.