Energy inefficiency costs

Electricity, Energy    Oct 13, 2021 5:28 PM

Colombia loses huge amounts of money every year due to energy inefficiency.

In its National Energy Plan 2020-2050 (PEN), the government said that the useful energy of the country is only 31% of the total, La Republica reported.

Inefficiency in consumption is costing the country between US$6.6B and US$11B a year. This figure represents between 1.6 and 2.7 tax reforms such as the one that went into effect in mid-September, under the name of the Social Investment Law.

The PEN explains that the useful energy balance compares the energy consumed by the technologies currently in use with that which would be used if the best available technologies were adopted on a national and international scale.

The country’s final energy consumption can be reduced by 38% to 50% by switching all technologies in the sector to the best available domestic reference equipment.

The document said that it could even be reduced up to 62%, if technologies available in international markets are adopted.

Transportation is the sector that stands to gain the most if owners of cars, trucks, motorcycles and the mass transit systems themselves adopt the best available technologies. The useful energy balance is just 24% in this sector.

“The efficiency improvement potential for this sector, if the best available national technologies were adopted, would be 50%, representing savings of about US$3.4B per year,” the paper said.

The document proposes the replacement of diesel and gasoline vehicles in segments where the greatest inefficiencies are found by hybrid vehicles with efficiencies close to 60% and electric vehicles with efficiencies above 70%.

For the residential sector, which is the second with the greatest potential for improved energy efficiency, the analysis shows that the main challenge is to reduce cooking losses due to the use of firewood. The alternatives identified are replacement by induction stoves and upgrading of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, achieving improvements of between 30% and 40%, respectively.

Bottom-Line: Colombia has a huge challenge in changing the transportation fleet, and old appliances. However, the government needs to create attractive incentives to convince Colombians to make this change, as many will be reluctant to do so because of the cost.

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