Argentina: ASADES’ Network for Solar Energy
Non-profit organisation ASADES has been promoting renewable energies in Argentina for 35 years. Nowadays, it is coordinating the efforts of the participating groups. Just recently, it has also launched a monthly newsletter. Solarthermalworld.org sat down with ASADES’ President Adolfo A. Iriarte to talk about the organisation’s work.
In the opinion of Adolfo Iriarte, the greatest success that ASADES has had so far is, “the 35 years of continuity in its work and regularity of its meetings – and this in a country that has suffered from great turmoil”. Unlike the view taken by some lobbying groups in several European countries, Iriarte does not consider ASADES to be a political organisation. “I would rather say that our efforts to promote renewable energies include the promotion of policies and strategies that are necessary to get ahead with the issue,” he says and adds: “Developing solar thermal energy is one of the priorities in the field of renewables in Argentina, together with wind and biomass”.
Solar thermal has been gaining ground in Argentina recently. While NGO FOVISEE has been promoting solar water heaters for social houses (see http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/3264), Rosario has become the first Argentinian city that is in the process of establishing a solar ordinance (see http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/3300 ). For the first time, there will be a Solar Argentina exhibition, which is going to take place in Buenos Aires from 3 to 5 July 2012. So far, it seems like it is going to be a rather small exhibition, which includes solar thermal, as well as photovoltaics and wind energy. Still, several international exhibitors have announced their attendance.
Today, ASADES is coordinating the work of its participating groups. Altogether, the association has more than 400 members. Iriarte estimates that 50 % of them operate in the field of solar thermal, 37 % in solar architecture, 10 % in photovoltaics and 3 % in other renewable energy sectors.
The largest group – with about 50% – consists of scientists and researchers from different Argentinian research centres. But as Iriarte emphasises, the organisation is open to anyone: private members, companies, NGOs etc.
The work at ASADES depends on volunteers – there are no full-time employees. For example, Iriarte usually works at the University of Catamarca, at which he leads a working group on renewable energies. He is also a scientist at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research, called CONICET. He and his fellow volunteers are the ones organising working group meetings, such as the yearly congress that takes place in changing cities. They encourage and support new groups in their work, and manage the publication of the ASADES magazines ERMA and AVERMA, which cover research topics across all renewable energy sectors, as well as the recently launched newsletter. Both magazines are distributed free of charge among ASADES’ members. Non-members can subscribe for a fee.
The website offers a library, including a search engine, to find articles published in former issues of the magazine. They can be downloaded free of charge on the page itself.