As of 2022, Argentina's total electricity consumption is about 392 watts per person, which is slightly below the global average of 412 watts per person. The vast majority of this electricity, about 230 watts per person, is generated from fossil fuels, with gas being the major contributor at 181 watts per person. Oil also contributes to fossil fuel consumption at nearly 42 watts per person, while coal takes a smaller role with just about 7 watts per person. On the other hand, Argentina's consumption of low-carbon energy represents a smaller portion at around 133 watts per person, with hydropower being the largest source at 66 watts per person. Other low-carbon sources such as wind and nuclear power contribute with 35 watts and 19 watts per person respectively, while solar power and biofuels only provide approximately 7.3 and 5.2 watts per person. It's worth noting that the relatively low level of electricity generation could be limiting the economic and social development of the country. In addition, net imports of electricity in Argentina make up approximately 7.6% of total electricity consumption.
When examining ways to increase Argentina's low-carbon electricity generation, one can look to the policies and practices in other countries for guidance. For example, countries like France, Canada, and South Korea, which generate 526, 246, and 371 watts per person from nuclear power respectively can be studied for their successful use and management of nuclear energy. Additionally, countries such as Denmark and Uruguay, that generate a high proportion of their electricity from wind power, 369 and 160 watts per person respectively, can provide useful insights for wind energy exploitation. Lastly, Argentina could also draw inspiration from nations that have effectively harnessed solar energy. Australia, for instance, generates 147 watts per person from solar power.
Historical data shows that low-carbon electricity in Argentina has had its ups and downs. In 1980, there was a significant increase in hydropower generation by 4.5 TWh, but this was followed by a sharp decrease by 6.7 TWh in 1988. Similarly, the first decade of the 21st century saw some erratic fluctuation in hydro power generation, with notable increases in 2000 and 2001, and a significant decrease in 2007. However, the last two decades of the 21st century have observed a growing contribution of wind power to Argentina's electric grid. The rise of wind power began slowly in 2019 with an increase of 3.6 TWh, but has shown steady growth, adding another 4.4 TWh in 2020 and 3.5 TWh in 2021. While hydropower saw a drop of 4.1 TWh in 2021, the year 2022 saw a significant increase in its share by 6 TWh. It's evident that Argentina is slowly transitioning to low-carbon sources of energy, most notably wind, as complement to its longstanding tradition of hydro power.