Alternative Energy Argentina: Study of U.S. $19 Billion Wind Power Project to Produce Hydrogen
Hydrogen is a clean burning fuel that could be mixed with natural gas for power generation, used in domestic appliances and also as a vehicular fuel (although I believe plug-in hybrids are a far more viable technology which can be used now). With a number of large cities in the Southern Cone with air pollution issues, Capex sees the possibility of a regional market for the fuel.
Project location depends on further studies, but the area under consideration is around Pico Truncado in the northeast of Santa Cruz province in Argentina, where wind speeds are some eight meters a second with a capacity factor of 45%.
The US$19bn figure covers the wind turbines, hydrogen production infrastructure and delivery to port. Investment on such a scale is beyond the reach of Capex alone, and so it would associate with other companies already involved in hydrogen technology, such as automobile manufacturers, should the project proceed further.
Capex produces oil and gas, and generates gas-fired electric power at the wellhead at Agua del Cajón in Neuquén province. It is 60% owned by Capsa, the local unit of Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell.
Of course at the "pre-feasibility study" stage this project is still essentially just talk. It does however offer one vision of how relatively remote wind power resources can be utilised by major centres of population. Even that the project is being considered shows that major investment in wind power (of the type Engineer Poet in his comment on the recent China Renewable Energy Law article thinks won't happen) is a possibility.
Business News Americas Story
Sound Sculpture Park "City of Sound" in Pico Truncado, Argentina