Guatemala Accelerating Renewable Energy Development

Country Overview

The Central American country of the Republic of Guatemala  is bordered by Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Gulf of Honduras, and the Pacific Ocean. The population of Guatemala is approximately 18.16 million people.

In 2022, Guatemala’s economy was ranked 67th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of bananas, coffee, palm oil, nutmeg, mace, cardamon, and raw sugar.

Environmental Policies

In April 2016, Guatemala signed the Paris Climate Agreement, pledging to reduce emissions by 11.2 % by 2030 compared to business-as-usual projections.

In 2020, 91.4% of the people in Guatemala had access to electricity.  In 2021, utilities used renewable energy (65.5 %), coal (21.0 %), and oil (13.5%) to generate electricity in Guatemala. Hydropower and biomass are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Guatemala.

Power Generation Capabilities

Recent renewable energy projects in Guatemala include:

  • 56 MW Hydropower Project – In April 2020, Guatemalan general contractor, Solel Boneh Guatemala commissioned the Oxec II Hydroelectric Project in north-central region of Guatemala.
  • 5 MW Solar Project – In August 2022, Canadian renewable energy company, Kruger Energy commissioned the Zacapa solar project at a site approximately 50 miles northeast of the nation’s capital, Guatemala City.


Guatemala imports all of the nation’s refined petroleum for transportation and power generation. In 2021, the nation imported U.S. $2.97 Billion just for 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.

Guatemala has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, hydropower, geothermal, onshore wind, offshore wind, and biomass. Volatile fossil fuel prices have prompted Guatemala to accelerate development of low-cost, reliable renewable energy.


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.

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