Solar energy boom

Clean tech, Electricity, Renewables    Jan 18, 2021 7:44 PM

The world is seeing a boom in solar energy projects, and Colombia is no stranger to this trend.

Solar power generation costs decreased 82% to US$0.068 per kilowatt hour (kWh), or CoP$223, between 2010 and 2019, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

“The cost improvements, experienced since 2010, have been mainly due to the 90% reduction in the modules prices, together with the decrease in the costs of the balance of the system,” Irena explained.

Director of Innovation in Emerging Sustainable Energy, Santiago Ortega, said that solar energy is the renewable source with the most significant reduction in prices.

The expert said that advances in renewable energies have been thanks to tax incentives in Colombia.

The country produced the largest incorporation of solar energy with around 30MW in 2020, to reach a total of 225MW of installed capacity from renewable sources, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MinEnergia).

This is equivalent to the energy consumption of about 200,000 homes, and a decrease of 370,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Colombia has nine solar farms, of which five came into operation in 2020, MinEnergia said.

Authorities expect the construction of 14 unconventional renewable energy projects (five are solar plants), between 2021 and 2022.

These will be located in the departments of Cesar (El Paso, with 86MW, and La Loma, with 173MW), Córdoba (Campano, 121MW), Valle del Cauca (Cartago, 117MW) and Tolima (San Felipe, 106MW).

“The remaining nine are wind farms and will be built in La Guajira. These projects will attract investments of more than CoP$7T,” MinEnergia said.

The Vice Minister of Energy, Miguel Lotero, said that the decrease in investment costs for renewable energy projects is good news.

“Colombia is involved in this global trend, we have created an adequate regulatory environment,” Lotero added.

Bottom-Line: The government has done a great job to meet its goal of promoting renewable energy in the country.

Cost reduction is excellent news for renewable energies. Authorities should take advantage of this situation to continue promoting these projects in the country.


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