Solar Panels and Coffee Sector

Energy, Regulation & Policy, Renewables    Oct 19, 2018 2:23 PM

Colombia wants to diversify its energy matrix, promoting the use of new sources friendlier to the environment. The National Center for Coffee Research (Cenicafé) conducted a study on the benefits of solar energy in the coffee sector.

According to Portafolio, Cenicafé said that using solar panels for coffee processes is economically viable. The association highlighted that this type of energy generates cost savings, after recovering the installation investment.

Juan Rodrigo Sanz and Mauricio Salazar, researchers at Cenicafé, said solar panels can supply power for machines in the sector such as pulping and coffee washers, among other.

They highlighted that the country has great potential in generating solar energy, thanks to its geographical location. The researchers pointed out that Colombian authorities have created several tax, accounting and tariff incentives to promote the development of renewable energies.

The researchers said solar panels can be used in the agricultural sector on issues of lighting, irrigation, animal feed, electric fences, greenhouses, water treatment and satellite images, among others.

Cenicafé highlighted that those interested must consider location, area, electrical demand and infrastructure before installing solar panels.

The researchers explained that a large farm with a demand of 20,000kWh/year, needs a system of 44 solar panels, and the expected time of investment return is 6.5 years; this system would have a useful life of 25 years.

Farmers would need a three-panel solar system in the case of a small farm with an energy consumption of 772kWh/year and the expected time of investment return is 10 years.

Alvaro Jaramillo, Researcher of Cenicafé, said that there will be a new El Niño Phenomenon during 1H19.

“The Pacific Ocean is in a warm-up phase that will last until the first semester of 2019. We expect a weak and moderate intensity in El Niño phenomenon,” Jaramillo said.

Bottom-Line: Colombia has great potential in renewable energies and the country must make this transition responsibly and with patience. Undoubtedly, these energy sources will be key to the country’s energy future.


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