Rising Oil Prices Funding Suriname’s Renewable Projects

National Economy

The South American country of the Republic of Suriname  is bordered by Guyana, Brazil, French Guiana, and the Atlantic Ocean. The population of Surinam is approximately 623,236 people.

In 2022, Suriname’s economy was ranked 171st in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of gold, rough wood, refined petroleum, excavation machinery, and rice,

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Suriname signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to introduce renewable energy to coastal and interior villages that rely on fossil fuels.

In 2016, Suriname enacted the Electricity Act, a program designed to develop new renewable energy projects across the country.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 98.8 % of the people in Surinam had access to electricity. In 2021, utilities used renewable energy (50.5%) and refined petroleum  (49.5 %) to generate electricity in Suriname. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Suriname.

Recent renewable energy developments in Suriname include:

  • Floating Solar Project – The government of Suriname is continuing to evaluate a 25MW floating solar project for the Afobaka hydroelectric dam, approximately 75 miles south of the nation’s capital, Paramaribo.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – The government of Suriname is continuing work on the installation of photovoltaic solar panels in seven villages in upper region of the Suriname River, approximately 75 miles southeast of Paramaribo.
  • 6 MW Solar + 1.14 MWh Energy Storage Project – People’s Republic of China solar company, SINOSOAR is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 75 miles west of Paramaribo.
  • 350 kW Mini-Hydropower Project – In February 2017, the government of Suriname commissioned the Gran Olo hydroelectric power planton the  Tapanahony River in eastern Suriname.


Commercial oil was first discovered off the coast of Suriname in 2020, by American company, Apache Oil. In 2023, Suriname is producing approximately 14,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD).

Oil is now a significant component of Suriname’s economy. In 2021, Suriname exported U.S. $85 Million 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.

Suriname has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, offshore wined, and biomass. The country’s renewable energy resources could easily replace the diesel-fueled power plants that generate almost 50% of the electricity in Suriname.

The rise in the price of crude oil is providing Suriname with the funding to new develop reliable, renewable energy projects for power.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.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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