Renewables Surging In Ecuador

National Economy

The South American country of the Republic of Ecuador  is bordered by Columbia, Peru, and the Pacific Ocean. The population of Ecuador is approximately 18.39 million people[1].

In 2022, Ecuador’s economy was ranked 62nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[3] of crude oil, crustaceans, , bananas, refined petroleum, processed fish, cut flowers, and cocoa beans.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Ecuador signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to an unconditional 20.4% to 25% reduction in energy sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared to business-as-usual levels,

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2020, 98.85 % of the people in Ecuador had access to electricity[5]. In 2021, power companies used renewable energy (83.5 %), oil  (12.9 %), and natural gas (3.6 %) to generate electricity in Ecuador[6]. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Ecuador.

Recent renewable energy projects in Ecuador include:

  • 258 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, Spanish company, Solarpack commissioned on the  “El Aromo” solar project at a site approximately 125 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Quito.
  • 150 MW Hydropower Tender – In January 2023, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) awarded two hydropower projects to companies, which have a total capacity of 150 MW.
  • 60 MW Solar Tender – In April 2023, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) awarded a photovoltaic solar project to Spanish engineering company, Global Dominion Access.
  • 60 MW Solar Tender – In April 2023, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) awarded a photovoltaic solar project to Mexican engineering company, Consorcio Esco.
  • 8 MW Wind Tender – In January 2023, Ecuador’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) awarded one onshore wind project to a company, which has a total capacity of 44.8 MW.
  • 8 MW Solar + 40.9 MWh Energy Storage Project – Spanish solar company, Gransolar and French power company Total Eren are continuing work on a solar plus energy storage project on the on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos National Park.


In 1967, major oil reserves were discovered in the Ecuadorian Amazon region[7]. In 1972, Ecuador became a major oil exporting nation.

In 2021, Ecuador exported U.S. $7.44 Billion in crude oil and U.S. $1.37 Billion  in refined petroleum. In 2021, Ecuador was the 22nd largest oil exporting country[8] in the world.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Ecuador has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources including solar, onshore wind, hydropower, offshore wind, and biomass. Development of Ecuador’s renewable energy resources could easily replace all the oil and natural gas fueled power plants, which provided 16.5 % of the nation’s electricity in 2021.

The rise in the global crude oil prices has allowed Ecuador to fund the development of new renewable energy projects to achieve 100% of the nation’s electricity from reliable, renewable energy. Export of oil are funding the renewables surge in Ecuador.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

[1] Ecuador Population (2023) –  April 15, 2023,

[2] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[3] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Ecuador

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] The World Bank Group, Access to Electricity (% of Population – Ecuador

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

[7] University of Sussex, “Oil in Ecuador.” November 12, 2013

[8] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

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