Category Archives: Guatemala

Guatemala Solar PV

Since late 90s, the Guatemalan government has promoted investments in electrification through the Rural Electrification Plan (PER).

The arrival of photovoltaic systems in rural areas is turning community’s development as well as in private homes.

Also in industry and services sector, whose energy saving makes them more competitive and in agricultural activity in which applications such as photovoltaic irrigation pumps are being used.

Although these initiatives have numerous support from non-profit institutions and organizations, the initial cost of equipment acquiring remains a barrier.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved in 2015 a $ 55 million loan to help Guatemala improve and expand national electricity service coverage.

The executing agency is the National Institute of Electrification (INDE).

In 2015, the largest solar power plant in Central America and the Caribbean with 50 MW of installed capacity begin to operate.

In its second phase it reached 85 MW, approaching the 2 largest projects in Latin America located in Chile and Honduras (100 MW each).

Resultado de imagen de planta solar horus I

The 50 MW Horus I plant is located in Santa Rosa area, near Chiquimulilla village, is equipped with an east-west axis tracker and occupies a 175 hectares plot.

30 Guatemalan companies participated in its construction and its production represents approximately 1.25% of the energy produced annually in the country.

The second phase, Horus II, contributes with 35 MW more.

New distributors supply contracts (to 15 years), that began the May 1st of 2015 and suppose the substitution of fossil technologies by hydroelectric, solar and wind; have led to a tariffs drop.

In November 2016, the National Electric Energy Commission (CNEE) published information about energy matrix composition with 66.8% of renewable generation and 33.2% with non-renewable resources.

37% is hydroelectric generation, 21.6% coal and 24.2% biomass. The rest is solar, geothermal, wind, natural gas, biogas, diesel and bunker; according to information published by the CNEE.

Electric coverage reaches 90% of population and there is a surplus of 1000 MW in electrical energy generation that is exported to Central America. This translates into $ 100 million annual revenues.

According to Electric Subsector in Guatemala report published by the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), up to June 2016 there are installed 3 photovoltaic plants connected to the national system with a power of around 85 MW.

In 2015 the contribution of solar power plants was 149.6 GWh, including the operation of Sibo in the municipality of Estanzuela, Zacapa, and Horus I and II in Chiquimulilla, Santa Rosa.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar guatemala

In the future agenda of electricity sector authorities there are at least 6 solar generation projects:

* La Avellana, Taxisco El Jobo (between 1 and 1.5 MW) and Medax Solar (1.7 MW); which will be located in Taxisco municipality, Santa Rosa

* Buena Vista (between 1 and 1.5 MW) and Solaris I (2.5 MW); which will operate in Jutiapa.

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Guatemala Solar Thermal

In Guatemala, talking about solar radiation use for electric and thermal energy generation in homes seems a myth. And in the case of thermal, even more.

So far, according to Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) data, approximately two thirds of energy is produced with fossil fuels, which translates into high costs and environmental pollution.

A good part of that electricity is used in order to heat water for human consumption, especially for the shower.

During approximately 350 days a year there is sufficient solar radiation to meet 95% of hot water needs in Guatemala.

As in many countries of Central America, thermal energy generation from solar radiation is an industry almost unknown and often confused with electric energy generation.

The few households that have incorporated solar thermal energy experienced a minimum decrease of approximately 40% in their electric bill amount and will pay off the investment made in less than 3 years.

Resultado de imagen de solar térmica guatemala

Currently it is possible to find two types of solar heater systems technologies in the country: non-pressurized and pressurized.

The first is generally used for residential use because it is of little pressure and simple installation, and the second one is more used in industry and services sectors.

Experts and leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Costa Rica to promote quality assurance mechanisms implementation in solar water heaters use, in order to increase technology confidence and stimulate its development in the region.

Issues such as standards, testing, labeling and certification, as well as the use of quality infrastructure to support regional policies on the promotion of solar thermal energy were considered.

Solar heating technology has arrived at a maturity, technological and of price, that nowadays allows developing national strategies as well as regional to promote water heating with solar energy.

Currently, less than 3% of solar thermal energy is used in Latin America and the Caribbean, so that better quality assurance mechanisms can lead to significant market growth.

Solar thermal energy can also be used to dry grains, especially coffee.

The drying system consists of solar collectors, recirculation pumps, water pipes, thermal insulation, storage tanks, precision fans and heat exchangers.

Solar collectors absorb solar energy, this is transmitted to the water that flows through the pipes. The hot liquid is stored in the central tank, from where it flows to the mechanized dryers. At this point, water-air heat exchangers dehydrate and heat the ambient air, drying the grains.

Resultado de imagen de secador solar café

In El Novillero village, Santa Lucía Utatlán, Sololá, there is the ecological park and protected area Corazón del Bosque, a project of the Artisanal Association for La Guadalupana Development.

Linking community benefit with natural resources sustainable use were concerns that originated this project, which to date generate 13 permanent and more than 800 temporary jobs.

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Solar Guatemala

In 2003, Guatemala approved the Incentives Law for Renewable Energies Generation.

In 2005 tax incentives were established for 10 years, with import taxes payment exemption for equipment, components and accessories related to projects of electric power generation from renewable sources.

In 2010, the PEG-1 Indicative Expansion Plan for Generation System was launched as part of the energy matrix transformation, with the objective of at least 60% of energy being produced through renewable resources by 2022.

Resultado de imagen de mapa solar en guatemala

Guatemala conducts auctions to award electricity and energy production contracts, in which renewable energy may have a specific quota or compete with other technologies.

Since 2012, the CNEE has held bids to hire power.

Distribution companies are the off takers.

The first tender awarded a total of 393 MW to hydroelectric (221 MW), wind (101 MW), solar (55 MW) and biomass (16 MW) plants with 15-year power purchase contracts.

The second tender, in 2014, aimed at contracting 250 MW. The auction hired 322 MW and renewable energy (solar, biomass and small hydro) were awarded 116 MW.

Auctions have been the main driver of renewable energy investment in the country.

With a total of U$D 702 million 2014 was a record year of clean energy (biomass, solar, hydroelectric and wind power plants) investment.

In 2015, the first auctioned projects began to connect to the grid.

Two large-scale photovoltaic plants (30 MW and 50 MW) were connected.

Investments declined markedly in 2015, when only the solar sector received a total of U$D 66 million.

Guatemala is the second Central American energy market, with a total generation capacity of 3.7 GW.

In 2015 it generated 10.3 TWh of electricity; of which 46% came from fossil fuel-based generation, 26% from hydroelectric and 28% from renewable energies.

Resultado de imagen de energía solar en guatemala

Net metering distributed generation is allowed in the country.

In December 2015, 1,274 prosumers with a total installed capacity of 7.4 MW were connected to the grid.

The energy market in Guatemala has state and private actors operating in generation, transmission, trade and energy distribution segments.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines oversees electricity sector planning, while the National Electricity Commission (CNEE) is in charge of regulation. The Wholesale Market Operator organizes the system dispatch based on marginal cost of generation.

Guatemala is connected through the Central American Electric Integration System (SIEPAC) to Honduras and El Salvador, and northern Guatemala is also connected to Mexico´s transmission system.

The renewable energies installed capacity of Guatemala increased 38%, reaching 1 GW in December 2015.

The country’s average retail electricity prices fell 21% from U$D 228 / MWh in 2014 to U$D 181 / MWh in 2015.

In 2017 Guatemala is preparing a 420 MW tender for a 15-years period.

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