Renewable capacity (excluding hydropower) in Colombia is set to increase five-fold for 21% of the total installed capacity (or 5.9 GW) in 2030, according to a recent report by GlobalData.

According to the report, installed renewable capacity in Colombia increased from 0.1 Gigawatt (GW) in 2000 to 0.3 GW in 2018, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.3% accounting for 2.6% of the installed capacity in 2018.

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During 2019-2030, renewable capacity is further expected to grow at 24.4% CAGR to reach 5.9 GW. Onshore wind segment is expected to register the highest growth among renewables during the forecast period. The segment is expected to grow at 50% (CAGR) to reach 3.4 GW in 2030 from 40 MW in 2019.

Solar PV capacity is slated to grow at 23% CAGR over the forecast period to reach 1.7 GW in 2030 from 172.6 MW in 2019. Biopower power segment is expected to grow at 7% CAGR to reach 719 MW over the forecast period. To date, Colombia does not have any installed geothermal capacity but is expected to have 50 MW installed in 2024, which is expected to reach 115 MW in 2030 growing at 15% CAGR.

Colombia’s Generation and Transmission Expansion Plan 2015-2029 is expected to accommodate a high volume of renewable energy in the near future. The expected grid expansion and modernisation of 4.2 GW to 6.7 GW aimed to support to 1 GW coal and 1.5 GW hydro will involve huge investment in grid infrastructure industry.

As of 2018, hydropower dominated the Colombian power mix, with a share of 65.8 % of total installed capacity, followed by gas-based power with 19.8%. Coal, oil and biopower accounted for 9.5%, 3% and 1.6% respectively. Solar PV and wind capacity accounted for 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. Hydropower is expected to continue to have the lion’s share in installed capacity in 2030.

Colombia’s overdependence in hydropower is a big challenge, as power consumption is increasing and the surplus power it exports declines drastically in years of drought, which occur frequently. As a result, thermal power, especially gas-based power will cater to base-load power requirement in the near future, although its share is expected to go down to 14% in 2030 from 20% in 2018.