Suriname’s Renewable Energy Growth

Country Overview

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 626,505 people.

In 2022, Suriname’s economy was ranked 152nd 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:

  • 500 MW Hydropower Project – The government of Suriname is conducting environmental impact studies on the Kabelebo 1 hydroelectric project, which will consist of three dams in the Kabalebo river basin. The hydropower project, located in the western region of the country, will divert water from the Upper Corantijn and Lucie rivers into the Kabalebo River to sustain dependable water flow and hydroelectric power generation.
  • 25 MW Floating Solar Project – German solar company Suntrace is continuing work on a 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 – In June 2022, People’s Republic of China solar company, SINOSOAR completed a solar plus battery energy storage system (BESS) project at a site approximately 75 miles west of Paramaribo.
  • 500 kW Solar Project – SINOSOAR is continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 50 miles south of Paramaribo.
  • Biomass Project – In January 2023, Indian company Industrial Boilers initiated discussions with the government of Suriname to build a biomass processing plant in Suriname. The company specializes in developing waste-to-energy projects.


Commercial oil was first discovered in Suriname in 1982. In 2022, Suriname produced approximately 16,400 Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD).

Oil is now an important component of Suriname’s economy. In 2021, Suriname exported U.S. $85 Million of 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 electricity in Suriname. Crude oil exports are funding the development of Suriname’s  renewable energy projects.

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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