The Minister of Mines and Energy (MinEnergia), Maria Fernanda Suarez, gave details of her most recent visit to the department of Santander, where she shared updates on the energy transition process with communities.
The event was attended by more than 200 locals, including representatives of social and environmental organizations, academics, local authorities and communities from the Middle Magdalena and Puerto Wilches municipalities.
MinEnergia’s visit in the area is part of the National Conversation; a governmental initiative to socialize environmental and public policy issues with communities, creating a transparent dialogue between the two parties.
“We are accelerating the development of renewable energy projects. During the next years, we will go from producing 50MW, which is 3 times what Puerto Wilches consumes, to 2500MW, which is 3 times what the whole department of Santander consumes, all of it with clean energies” the Minister explained.
Suarez, however, recalled that conventional energy sources like oil and gas will still be an important part of the country’s energy matrix, recalling the importance of increasing existing reserves.
“We want to boost employment opportunities while improving the quality of life of Colombians. We want to provide education and drinking water for communities in rural areas, meaning that we need to boost industry projects, always making sure to protect the environment,” she added.
Bottom-line: It is important for the government to keep communities updated on the development of existing and upcoming projects. A close relationship with locals might save the industry headaches in the future.