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Abstract: In 2015, Mauricio Macri became President of Argentina and declared solving the energy crisis one of his top priorities. When Macri attempted to raise utility tariffs, however, he faced loud protests from citizens. In search of solutions to growing shortages, the government seized on Argentina’s still largely untapped, but potentially vast renewable energy sector and created an ambitious program called RenovAr (renew in Spanish).
By 2016, the country’s share of renewable energy stood at less than 2 percent of the power mix. RenovAr’s goal was to raise that percentage to 20 percent by 2025. An ambitious plan for an economy still reeling from the 2001 default.
This case describes the business friendly Macri administration’s strategy to attract private investment in the nascent renewable energy sector, under challenging macroeconomic conditions.
The case package includes a sequel that describes the events between 2018 and 2020, when Argentina faced a crippling economic downturn and Macri lost to the Peronist duo, Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Fernandez de Kirchner. The sequel catches the reader up on the state of the RenovAr program during a period of intense economic tumult and political change.
Students analyze the energy policies of the populist Kirchner administrations and the more business friendly and conservative Macri administration, as each contends with similar energy problems, to gain a deeper understanding of the politics behind infrastructure development.
Students also closely examine government guarantees in renewable energy—an increasingly popular policy tool across the world—for their economic, political and financial feasibility.
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Joseph B. Tompkins, Jr. Fund for Case Study and Research