Nicaragua’s National Energy Plan calls for 80 percent of the country’s electricity to be sourced from renewables by 2017. These are ambitious plans indeed given that in 2011, Nicaragua had the region’s highest use of fossil fuels in electricity generation at 67 percent. However, Nicaragua has the second largest share of non-hydro renewables with 21 percent, due to geothermal plants such as Polaris and Momotombo, the Amayo wind farm, and others. Against this background, the group was divided on whether the 80 percent renewables goal is a realistic one, given the availability of funding and the current investment environment.
Currently, there are 87 MW of geothermal in operation in the country, but according to the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Program (ESMAP), Nicaragua has an estimated geothermal resource of 1200 MW—more than the total installed capacity in 2011 (1,094 MW) and the strongest potential in the entire region. Solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy, and small hydro potentials are also enormous, although detailed assessments of these resources have still to be made. Renewable energy development in Nicaragua will depend on breaking down barriers and fortifying enablers within the political-administrative framework, and on the availability and implementation of necessary funds. Our workshop was an exciting step in this direction.
We have been amazed by the amount of leadership on renewable energy in the region and we are extremely grateful for the high-quality contributions of our workshop participants. Through this consultation, we have identified key areas where reform is needed to further establish Nicaragua as a worldwide renewable energy leader. In the coming months, we will continue to report on our conclusions from the workshops and the Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America.
Please see our project webpage for further workshop information including access to presentations as well as photos from the workshop and video interviews with renewable energy experts in Nicaragua.
We are thankful for the generous support of the Climate Development Knowledge Network and theEnergy and Environment Partnership with Central America.
Pages: 1 2