Argentina is located in Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Chile and Uruguay, with total land area of 2,766,890km2. Total population of Argentina is 39,537,943 (July 2005 est.) (CIA Facts). Total electricity production was 84,539 GWh for the year 2002; consisting of coal 1173GWh, oil 1529GWh, biomass 1261GWh, gas 98,792GWh, nuclear 5821GWh, hydro 35,888GWh, solar 47GWh, and others 73GWh (IEA Energy Statistics, 2002).
Installed, planned and remaining hydro power potential
Argentina’s gross theoretical hydro power potential is 354,000GWh (40,400MW) and its technically feasible potential is 130,000GWh, of which about 23% has been harnessed. The installed hydro capacity is approximately 9780MW (41% of the total generating capacity) (World Atlas, 2005).
The hydro power capacity of Argentina is mainly based on a 50% share in two bi-national
schemes. One is the 1890MW Salto Grande hydroelectric dam – dam height 47m, annual generation 6.64TWh- shared with Uruguay. The other is the 3100MW Yacyretá hydro power plant – currently operating at a reduced head, capacity restricted to 1800MW – that was completed in 1998 and shared with Paraguay (International Association on Electricity Generation Transmission and Distribution).
The total amount of hydro capacity under construction at the end of 1999 was 960MW, with a further 216MW in the planning stage. Argentina and Paraguay are planning to build another hydroelectric dam on the Paraná river, the 3000MW, US$ 3.1B Corpus Cristi dam. In May 2000, Argentina and Paraguay signed a working agreement concerning Corpus Cristi. The agreement calls for constructing the dam through international public bidding, and assures that the project’s construction will be environmentally sound. There has been considerable opposition to the project among the local community and among environmentalists, because of its location between two existing dam. Corpus Cristi would turn the upper section of the Paraná river into a ‘staircase’ of dams without free-flowing sections.
A further 8600MW of hydro capacity is planned at the following plants: Garabi, 1500MW on the Uruguay river (Argentina/Brazil), Corpus, 2880MW on Parana river (Argentina/Paraguay), Chapeton, 3000MW on Parana river, El Chihuido, 835MW on Neuquen river, Las Pavas 88MW on Bermejo river, Arrasayal 93MW on Bermejo river, Cambari 102MW Tarija river (Argentina/Bolivia), and, Potrerillos 100MW on Mendoza river. Argentina has 33 small, mini and micro hydro plants in operation, with a total capacity of 40MW, others are under construction and about 35 more are planned (42.8MW) (Small Hydropower Atlas).
Age Structure in the hydro power Industry
Total labor force of Argentina is 15.04 million (2004 est.). The GDP composition by sector was agriculture 10.6%, industry 35.9%,services 53.5% (2004 est.) (CIA Facts). Due to lack of information regarding the age structure of people working in hydropower industry, a more broad perceptive has been used for research. It uses the term put forward by International Labour Organization (ILO) commonly know as economically active population i.e. The economically active population comprises all persons of either sex who furnish the supply of labour for the production of economic goods and services as defined by the United Nations systems of national accounts and balances during a specified time-reference period (ILO).
• Universidad Nacional De La Plata has an engineering programme in hydraulics (four years) under the department of hidraulica. Although not fully based on hydro power, it does have some focus on it. http://www.ing.unlp.edu.ar/
• Universidad Nacional Del Litoral has Facultad de ingrenieria y ciencias hydricas and under this faculty it has engineering in resource hydraulics (five years), engineering in resource hydraulics for masters (two years) and doctoral level. http://www.unl.edu.ar/
• Universidad De Buenos Aires has a facility of engineering with a department in hydraulics. This department offers a post graduate degree in planning and use of hydraulics in urban and engineering in resource hydraulics. http://www.fi.uba.ar/dep_doc/69/index.php
• Universidad Nacional De Cordoba has facultad de ciencias exactas, fisicas y naturals, which offers specialisation resources hydraulics at post graduate level. http://www.unc.edu.ar/academicos/saa2.html
• Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and Universidad Nacional de Cuyo have jointly launched a Masters programme called integrated water resources management as a post graduate degree in IWRM. This course is a specialisation postgraduate course, launched in 2005.