In 2022, Ecuador’s economy was ranked 62nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, crustaceans, bananas, refined petroleum, and processed fish.
In 2016, Ecuador signed the Paris Climate Agreement, 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 2021, 100% of the people in Ecuador had access to electricity. In 2022, power companies used renewable energy (75.7%), refined petroleum (23.6%), and natural gas (0.7%) to generate electricity in Ecuador. 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 – Spanish company, Solarpack is continuing work on the El Aromo solar project at a site approximately 125 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Quito. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
- 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.
- 45 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 discovered in the Ecuadorian Amazon region. In 1972, Ecuador became a major oil exporting nation.
In 2021, Ecuador exported U.S. $7.44 Billion of crude oil and U.S. $1.37 Billion of refined petroleum. In 2022, Ecuador was the 21st largest oil exporting country 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 24.3% of the nation’s electricity in 2022.
The rise in the global crude oil prices has allowed Ecuador to fund the development of new renewable energy projects. Export of is funding the boom in renewable development in Ecuador.
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.