Bolivia bets for the renewal energy

The South American country is constructing its biggest solar plant that will have 200.000 solar panels

 Bolivia bets for the renewal energy

Leer en Español: Bolivia le apuesta a la energía renovable

Bolivia is one of the most privilege countries that can develop solar energy. It is located near the equator and its high makes the country one of the regions with more solar radiation in the planet.

The Uyuni solar plant, in the region of Antonio Quijarro province, is the most important project of solar energy in Bolivia. The plant cost 62 million dollars and with 200.000 solar panels, it will be the biggest solar central in the country. This solar plant is the third in the country: the first one is located in the Pando province and the second in Tarija, both produces only 5 MW.

Recently, the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, explained that the new plant will "generate 60 Mega Waltz of energy, which is almost half of the current energy demand of the Potosí province, we can improve the quality of the lifestyle of many people".

Morales also assured that the country is walking forward to the clean energy and added that his plan is to make Bolivia will become the energy center of South America.

According to the Government, the Uyuni plant will be start working on March 2018 and it could be the big step Bolivia needs to walk into the renewable energies. In coming days, the Bolivian Government will launch a Hydroelectric Central Plant in San José, in the province of Oruro. The plant, powered by water, will produce around 124 Megawatt and cost 252 US million dollars.

In the past years, Bolivia has showed its efforts to make the clean energy and the renewable sources the main sources of electricity.

In past June, Bolivia approved another wind farm in the province of Tarija -in the border with Paraguay and Argentina-. With La Ventolera wind farm, Bolivia will have 24 additional MW, with a total offer of up to 731 MW in the region. In accordance to the private sector, the companies are planning to invest around US 447 millions until 2025 in the country.

The solar plant in Uyuni, the biggest in the country, is small compared to the 10 biggest in Chile. For example, El Romero solar plant, in Atacama dessert in Chile, can produce 196 MW, more than 3 times the amount of energy of the Bolivian central. However, the construction of the Uyuni plant represents the administration's will of moving towards an environmental friendly sources.

As said by the president, in 2005 the Bolivian energy demand was of 700 MW and it increased up to 1500 MW in 2017. Morales assured that today, the country has 500 MW of backup.

Uyuni, the electrical region of Bolivia

The central plant is located near the Uyuni salt flats, the biggest in the world. The power of the sun makes this spot a perfect place to capture the solar power and transform it into electricity.

It is important to highlight that the region not only counts with solar benefit, he region also contains around 50-70% of the lithium of the world. This element is considered as the energy of the future.

Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza