Electrification in Late Industrialized Countries: Argentina and Spain, 1890- 1950

Authors

  • Isabel Bartolomé Rodríguez
  • Norma Lanciotti

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1344/rhi.v24i59.21282

Keywords:

Global Electrification, Hydropower, Argentina, Spain

Abstract

Aimed at contributing to study of the electrification of peripheral host economies, this article examines the evolution and characteristics of electricity systems in Spain and Argentina from the early 19th century until the second postwar period. The global management and financing
of electric utilities promoted their rapid expansion throughout the Western world, but the evolution of electricity systems in each country greatly diverged according to the timing of industrialisation and local conditions. The article shows that the evolution, profitability and extent
of electricity systems depended upon economic conditions, market structures and the natural resources available in each country. While we identify similar trends of electricity production and consumption, the structure of both electricity markets reveals great contrasts. A very profitable electricity system which primarily served the Pampas region became consolidated in Argentina, while the early development of hydroelectricity associated with more diversified regional production
made way for a less profitable, but more extended and equitable system in Spain.

Published

2018-01-25

Issue

Section

Articles