now gets 95% of its electricity from renewable sources. Not only that, but electricity is cheaper there now than it was 15 years ago, when 27% was generated using imported oil and 15% had to be imported from Argentina. Now Uruguay is an energy exporter. There is no magic involved, and no nuclear power, just a national decision to make it happen. The most important step was offering developers of alternative energy projects 20-year fixed-price contracts, backed by a reliable government that has never defaulted on its debt. With those terms, major energy firms were happy to build solar, wind, and biomass plants and sell the energy at a price that is currently below the market rate.
That actually might be the most important part of the story: big companies like Siemens are betting that over the next 20 years the price of electricity from alternative energy will fall, not rise, guaranteeing them 20 years of profits.
If Uruguay can do this, we could, too. If we cared enough.