Energy transition

Energy, Regulation & Policy    Apr 9, 2021 2:52 PM

Senior Analyst, Ricardo Avila, conducted an analysis on the energy transition process in Colombia.

Avila said that Colombia is one of the Latin American countries that has advanced the most in the energy transition.

“This contributes to the recovery of the economy in a relatively short period of time,” Avila said in an article in El Tiempo.

The expert said that the government has reformulated policies, achieving important advances on the subject.

Avila said that around 12% of the installed electricity generation capacity (2,400MW) will come from unconventional renewable sources in 2022, according to estimates by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MinEnergia).

“That proportion was just 1% in 2018,” Avila said.

The expert recalled that the Colombian energy generation system is vulnerable to natural phenomena such as “El Niño” due to its high dependence on hydroelectric plants, confirming the need to diversify the energy matrix.

In addition, several regions of the country have great potential for solar and wind generation.

“It is worth highlighting the government’s purpose of bringing energy service to nearly half a million Colombians who still live in the dark. The plan ‘Todos Somos Pacífico’, with the support of the IDB, advances the connection of nearly 30,000 families, which includes the use of mini-solar grids,” Avila said.

He said that it is necessary to create a true state policy to continue this path and advance in the energy transition.

“Colombia should evaluate its possibilities in terms of geothermal energy or ‘green’ hydrogen production, as well as leverage its geographical position to become an energy supplier, both in the Caribbean and in Central America,” Avila said.

Avila acknowledged that there are many challenges to overcome in this process, especially in the economic and social benefits that the extractive sector represents for the country.

“The decline in coal purchases has already begun to have consequences for unemployment. Oil generates jobs, exports, taxes and royalties, which will lose relevance over time,” Avila said.

However, Avila said that the underlying message is that the energy transition is not a prospect, but a reality.

“Colombia has to be part of the solution and not of the problem,” Avila concluded.

Bottom-Line: Colombia must continue to advance in the energy transition process, but in an orderly manner assuring that all the components are in place.

The country also has to assure it can bridge to the transition state, even if that means maintaining fossil fuels in the energy matrix and the economy.

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