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Electricity in Uruguay in 2022

Global Ranking: #23
82.4% #25 Low-carbon electricity
502.76 watts #80 Generation / person
123.67 gCO2eq/kWh #22 Carbon Intensity
2.5% net imports Electricity imports

Uruguay is currently leading the way in embracing low-carbon energy, with a commendable 82% of its electricity sourced from such means. This energy attainment primarily comprises of hydropower, contributing 37%, and wind energy providing close to a third of the total percentage. Biofuels and solar energy make up a little over a tenth and close to none respectively. The remaining energy is derived from fossil sources, largely from gas, that constitute a little over 15% of the electricity consumed. Despite these fantastic strides towards green energy, challenges remain as sectors including transport, heating, and industry still need to be electrified, a task that will require even more electricity than is currently being produced. It also important to note that Uruguay's consumption also includes a small 2.5% of net imports.


For Uruguay to further increase its low-carbon electricity generation, further expansion of prevailing wind energy infrastructure would be a logical first step. Looking around the globe, there is inspiration to be found. Denmark, for example, has been successful with wind energy, generating 369 watts per person. Uruguay could benefit from studying their strategy and perhaps adopting similar measures. Additionally, Uruguay might consider harnessing nuclear energy. Several nations have demonstrated success in this area, among them Sweden, France, and Finland generating 559, 526, and 517 watts per person respectively from nuclear energy. These countries, similar to Uruguay in various aspects, could provide valuable insights into sustainable, low-carbon energy production.


Looking back at Uruguay's history of low-carbon electricity, we see a strong reliance on hydropower. The 1980s were marked by a steady rise, peaking in 1983 with an increase of 2.2 TWh from the previous year. Following this, the 1990s were somewhat turbulent with ebbs and flows in electricity generation. Despite some negative years like 1988 and 1995, the decade overall saw a net increase in generation. The 2000s continued in this volatile vein, with significant fluctuations year on year. Notably, 2007 saw a substantial surge of 4.4 TWh, but this success was somewhat dwarfed by the 4 TWh drop in the year 2020. It's important to note that the aforementioned fluctuations are typical of hydropower-based systems, which can be heavily influenced by precipitation and water availability.

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1989 the data sources are World Bank and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2000 the data source is Ember.
For the years 2001 to 2005 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2006 to 2007 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2008 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2009 to 2013 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2014 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2015 to 2022 the data source is Ember.