Delays in new energy projects

Energy    Apr 14, 2021 4:04 PM

The government has several generation projects scheduled to guarantee power in 2022, but most have delays, generating concerns among experts.

Most of the generation projects have delays of more than one year, Portafolio reported. This will leave the country for a year without new electricity to meet the growing demand.

There are 18 projects with delays and these would only begin to deliver energy in 2023, some even in 2024 and 2025.

“The difference in energy is 3,290 GWh/year, representing a deficit in installed capacity of 537MW,” Andeg’s Alejandro Castañeda said.

Castañeda said that the entry of Hidroituango on time could be the salvation to meet the new demand.

“It is necessary to be clear about the date when the mega-project will begin operations,” Castañeda said.

The expert added that there are 14 Unconventional Renewable Energy Sources (FNCER) projects, but these do not represent a reliable and abundant source of energy to supply the growing demand.

Castañeda said that the energy currently assigned could cover up to 60% of the estimated deficit due to the delay in the entry of projects programmed in the 2021-2022 period.

He said that thermal plants have unassigned Firm Obligations that could contribute to mitigate the energy shortage and contribute between 30-40% of the identified shortage.

“The entry of thermal projects such as Termocandelaria and Tesorito, represents a guarantee for the reliable supply of demand in the short and medium term, against any scenario of delay in Hidroituango,” Castañeda said.

Deputy Minister of Energy, Miguel Lotero, said that authorities are not visualizing an energy deficit for the periods 2021-2022, and 2022-2023.

Lotero recalled that the regulation of the reliability charge includes additional security mechanisms such as reconfiguration auctions, which facilitate the supply in critical conditions.

Bottom-Line: The government must remember that signing contracts is only one step. Authorities must accompany and facilitate the projects development, especially in the environmental licensing process and prior consultations, to meet the proposed goals.

EPM’s corporate crisis continues to affect the development and credibility of Hidroituango, generating doubt about the in-service date of this important project.

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