Oil Exports Funding Republic of Columbia’s Renewable Projects

Country Overview

The South American country of the Republic of Columbia is bordered by the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, and the Pacific Ocean. The population of Columbia is approximately 52.08 million people.

In 2022, Colombia’s economy was ranked 42nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, coal, coffee, gold, refined petroleum, and cut flowers.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Colombia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual levels,

In 2016, Columbia launched the Energy Plan 2050, which aims to decrease the use of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and increase the use of wind, solar, and geothermal energy to generate electricity for the nation’s power grid.

In 2022, Colombia announced plans to develop the nation’s offshore wind potential. The government envisions Colombia can develop 1,000 MW of offshore wind projects by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100 % of the people in Colombia had access to electricity. In 2022, power companies used renewable energy (75.5%), natural gas (14.3%). coal (5.2%), and oil  (5.0%) to generate electricity in Colombia. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Colombia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Columbia include:

  • 491 MW Solar Project –Italian power company, Enel is continuing work on the Guayepo I and II solar project at a site approximately 400 miles north of the nation’s capital, Bogota. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 350 MW Offshore Wind Project – Danish company, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is continuing work with Columbian electric utility, APBAQ to build an offshore wind project. The project is forecast to be commissioned by 2026.
  • 200 MW Offshore Wind Project Spanish company BlueFloat Energy is continuing work on the offshore wind project, Vientos Alisios. The project is forecast to be commissioned by 2027.
  • 187 MW Solar Project – In June 2022, Enel commissioned the La Loma solar project at a site approximately 250 miles north-northeast of Bogota.

Conclusions

In 1918, oil were discovered in Colombia approximately 150 miles north of the nation’s capital, Bogota. In 2022, Colombia was the 20th largest oil exporting country in the world.

Oil has been a cornerstone of Colombia’s economy for decades. In 2021, Colombia exported U.S.$11.3 Billion in crude oil and U.S. $2.14 Billion in refined petroleum.

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.

Colombia has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, offshore wined, and biomass. The country’s renewable energy resources could meet the nation’s entire electricity demands.

Over the last few years, Colombia has been actively developing new renewable energy projects. Why? Economics, pure and simple. Colombia intends to use renewable energy for domestic power, preserving oil and natural gas resources for export. Oil exports are now funding Columbia’s new wind and solar projects!

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

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.

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