Columbia’s Energy Transformation

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Columbia is approximately 51.64 million people[1]. In 2019, 99.8 % of the people in this South American country had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Columbia’s economy was ranked 39th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy[4] is dependent on the export of crude oil, coal, refined petroleum, coffee, gold, flowers, and bananas.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Columbia signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to an unconditional 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business as usual.

In 2020, the Columbian government launched the Energy Plan 2050[6] which is intended to increase the non-hydroelectric renewable energy power projects, including wind, solar, and geothermal.

In 2020, utilities[7] used renewable energy (68.6%), natural gas (19.7%), coal (10.6%), and oil (1.1%) to generate electricity Columbia. Hydropower is the primary type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Columbia.

Recent renewable energy developments in Columbia include:

  • 3 MW Solar Projects – In October 2021, the Columbia Ministry of Mines and Energy awarded power purchase agreements for 11 solar projects in 9 of the nation’s 32 provinces. All the solar projects will be operational and commissioned in Q-1 2023.
  • 280 MW Wind Projects – Spanish company, EDP Renewables is continuing work on the Beta wind project at a site approximately 600 miles north-northeast of the capital, Bogota. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2022.
  • 212 MW Wind Project – EDP Renewables is continuing work on the Alpha wind project at a site approximately 600 miles north-northeast of the capital, Bogota. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2022.
  • 61 MW Solar Project – In October 2021, American power company commissioned the San Fernando Solar project the largest photovoltaic project in Columbia. The project is located at a site approximately 60 miles southeast of Bogotá.
  • 20 MW Wind Project – Columbian power company, ISAGEN is continuing work on the Guajira I wind project, which is located approximately 600 miles north-northeast of Bogota. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2021.

In 2019, the government initiated a series of tenders for new, non-hydropower projects. The tenders are designed to increase to increase Columbia’s non-hydropower power capacity from 50 MW in 2019 to 2,200 MW by 2022.

Columbia has significant renewable energy resources, including hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass; which can meet the country’s future power requirements. Columbia is transforming its energy sector from fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to clean, green renewable energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

[1] Columbia Population (2021) –  November 29, 2021, www.worldometers.info

[2] Columbia – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Columbia

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Columbia Unveils “National Energy Plan by 2050” by Enerdata, January 14, 2020

[7] Our World In Data, Columbia:  Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

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