Argentine Chamber of Deputies gives preliminary approval to draft bill for distributed generation

The Chamber of Deputies of Argentina has approved with 3 votes against and 159 votes in favor the long-awaited draft bill for the development of distributed generation, which is expected to create the conditions for the development of residential and commercial rooftop solar on deck in the country of the Southern Cone.

The draft law will now be brought to the Senate, where it is expected to obtain final approval. According to what Marcelo Álvarez of the Argentine Chamber of Renewable Energies (CADER) told pv magazine in August, the law could see the light by the first half of 2018, when there will be a new government after the legislative elections on October 22.

The text of the law approved by the Chamber of Deputies, which would authorize the sale of surplus electricity from renewable energy power generators to the national grid under a net metering mechanism, is the one that has recently left the Energy and Fuels Commission, which had reached an agreement to unify in a single text the different bills on distributed generation that were presented this year by the different political forces of Parliament.

The unified text that emerged from the commission envisages, among other things, the introduction of the above-mentioned net metering mechanism, and that any public building project includes the use of distributed generation facilities from renewable sources.

Under the new law, the fund for distributed generation of renewable energies (FODIS) will be created to help homeowners and small and medium-sized enterprises to resolve the issue of financing. The fund is estimated to have a budget of ARS 500 million (approximately $28.6 million) for the first year after the entry into force of the law.

These resources could be used for rebates covering part of the costs for the purchase and installation of the generators, as well as for financing an additional incentive for the net metering scheme.

The law could also include a series of tax benefits for prosumers, for which an additional ARS 200 million ($ 11.4 million) could be allocated. Another 200 million pesos will eventually be used for the promotion of the local renewable energy manufacturing industry through the fund FANSIGED, which is expected to support research, design, development, investment in capital goods, production, certification and installation services for distributed generation.