La Guajira: challenges and opportunities

Energy, Renewables    Sep 25, 2019 3:52 PM

The department of La Guajira is one of the most important in the country when it comes to renewable energies, and paradoxically, has been one of the most neglected areas by the different governments.

Colombia’s greatest energy potential is located in the Caribbean, specifically in the department of La Guajira, El Espectador said.

This area has a wind power potential 1.2 times higher than the installed capacity of the National Interconnected System, given the speed that the wind reaches there.

However, according to the source, Colombia’s energy potential has not been fully leveraged, and it is behind among other countries in the region when it comes to the use of unconventional energy sources.

According to data published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Chile leads the list of solar energy projects, while Brazil is number one in wind energy initiatives.

To improve its competitiveness in the sector, the government has been working to turn La Guajira into the largest source of wind energy power in the country, and even in the region.

According to the Association of Renewable Energies (Ser Colombia), La Guajira can produce approximately 15,000MW, enough to match 90% of the country’s installed capacity, if only 50% of the department’s surface was used to develop energy projects.

This, through wind power generating parks located in the Wayuu de la Alta and Media Guajira indigenous reserves.

Bottom-line: La Guajira’s potential is undeniable, and so are its social issues.

As promising as the projects announced by the government sound, we do not want to get our hopes up until entities like the National Environmental Licensing Agency (ANLA) and the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) come out and confirm that indigenous communities in the area understand and accept the development of the projects that will potentially take place in their territories.

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