Reviewing its activities in the wake of the country’s Energy and Mining Transition, the Colombian Government has diverted its focus on expanding its solar PV and wind installed capacity through auction and non-auction mechanisms. The nation relies heavily on hydropower generation, which has become increasingly vulnerable to weather variability – specifically the hot and dry conditions associated with the El Nino effect.
Situated in the equatorial zone, Colombia is rich in renewable energy resources and intends to use them in its future electricity generation mix to create to resilient and secure energy supply. The country’s solar PV and wind segment combined shaped only 0.3% of the overall installed capacity in 2018. To step up the pace in the aim towards sustainable transition, the Colombian Government has approved approximately 7.7GW of renewables outside the 2.5GW of auctioned capacity in 2019.
Colombia has a healthy and sound pipeline of wind and solar PV ventures with more than 13GW of active renewable opportunities, that are in different phases of development. Solar PV seems to have attracted the most investors, representing over 60% of the 13GW pipeline in Colombia.
La Guajira region, blessed with high favourable renewable potential, is likely to stand out as the most preferred region for early development. According to the ministry, in La Guajira region, wind speed averages 9m per second (20.1 miles/hour) at a height of 80m (262.5ft) and daily average radiation of 4.5kWh/m2, which are considered the best sites for solar and wind power development.
The country aspires to cut down emissions by 20%-30% by 2030 through this planned transition to a sustainable cleaner energy landscape with reduced dependence on hydropower and gas-based electricity generation. The country will need to put in place the right policies, measures, infrastructure and fiscal benefits regime to attract the desired investments in the development. In addition to this, the country will also need to address issues, regarding the logistics, as well as strengthen road and ports so that the intended energy transition can be economically fruitful.