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Colombia bets on renewable energies

These are the main non-conventional renewable energy projects that are being developed in Colombia

Solar panels with a windmill

Energía Estratégica has 37 projects that are expected to be launched this year: one wind and 36 solar photovoltaic. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Vanesa López Romero

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Leer en español: Colombia le apuesta a las energías renovables

In November 2020 , Bill 365 of 2020 was presented, which aims to include within the Colombian legislation "measures to strengthen the energy transition, as an effective way to reduce polluting emissions from fossil fuels, in order to to protect the fundamental rights to life and health ". The project is also aimed at strengthening the energy sector as one of the main forms of economic reactivation after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, unconventional renewable energies in the country did not exceed 30 MW of installed power, but by the end of 2020 the installed capacity exceeded 250 MW. As of the implementation of the bill, 2021 is expected to close with an additional 500 operating MW; In other words, the country is expected to close the year with a capacity of 750 MW installed and operating. According to the Deputy Minister of Energy, Miguel Lotero, "the installed wind and solar photovoltaic power in Colombia will triple."

One of the most ambitious projects in this sector is Energía Estratégica, which has a list of projects that are in the process of entering commercial operation this year and is also aligned with the Government's Energy Transformation Mission, which has been developing since 2019.

Energía Estratégica has 37 projects that are expected to launch this year: one wind and 36 solar photovoltaic. These would reach a total of 529.83 MW of power, supply around 450 thousand users, generate 3,600 jobs and "mobilize investments of 1.8 trillion Colombian pesos, an amount close to 510 million dollars," according to the Association of Renewable Energy of Colombia.

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These projects are located in different areas of the country. The wind project will be located in La Guajira, in the north of the country. As for photoactive solar, these will be distributed throughout the regions. Valle del Cauca with the highest number, with 8, followed by Atlántico with 4, Cesar and Meta with 3 each, Sucre, Antioquia, Tolima, Bolívar and Risaralda with 2 each and Córdoba, Santander, Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Quindío, Cauca and Huila with 1 each.

Among the promoters of these projects are ISAGEN, Solargreen, GreenYellow, SENA, ENECO, CELSIA, ENEL, Techno Elite Green Energy, among others. One of the most ambitious and remarkable undertakings is Enel Green Power's 'La Loma Solar' park, of 150 MW in the department of Cesar, which seeks to supply 150 thousand users. Likewise, the photovoltaic plant that is being assembled in the Meta, owned by Ecopetrol, and which will contain 59 MW, with the capacity to supply 49 thousand users, stands out.

These types of projects are very beneficial for Colombia, as they are in line with compliance with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The commitment that the Latin American country has to the use of clean and renewable energies is ratified to safeguard the future of future generations.