Mariano Arcioni, governor of the Chubut region in southern Argentina, said the locals gained little from the installation of hundreds of wind turbines in the province, where they can achieve capacity factors of up to 50%.
"The investments in wind energy leave us with nothing," the official complained, according to local media.
It was not clear from his remarks whether Arcioni was proposing a tax on profits generated by the sector or a royalty on the power generated.
Eight wind farm projects located in Chubut won contracts in the three rounds of the government’s Renovar program of renewable tenders. They have a combined installed capacity of 444.6MW.
Argentina’s growing renewables sector has been quick to reject the proposal, noting it ran counter to the government’s plan to source 20% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, while the cost would be paid by consumers.
"The legal framework means that any new taxes must be added to the tariffs so it will lead to higher costs for consumers," Marcelo Alvarez, president of the Argentinean Chamber of Renewable Energy, told Windpower Monthly.
"Every time there’s an economic crisis, the provinces want to put taxes on the sector which is doing well, and this time it is renewables," he said.