Thursday, September 13, 2018

Better Late than Never for Renewable Energies

Checking out a windmill's blades.
Colombia has a tiny but growing and enthusiastic renewable energy sector. They were on display this week at an exhibition at the Colombian Engineers Association, in La Candelaria.

Colombia's renewable energy sector is tiny: wind and solar combined total only 0.1% of the energy supply, altho 86% of Colombia's electricity does come from relatively clean hydroelectric power. But renewables are growing, in part thanks to new regulations, including one enabling generators to hook up to the grid and even to sell their surplus energy there. And next January the government plans to receive offers to purchase ten-year contracts for renewable energy.

The country also has some large potential projects, including one planned for land along the
Deinpro's plans for a solar farm
along the Magdalena River.
Magdalena river by the Bogotá-based Deinpro Global. A company official told me the project is to power some 1.5 million homes, but that they still need financing - which might come from the Andean Development Corporation or the Chinese Development Bank.

Another company, which works with solar panel and wind projects, told me that Colombia's best winds are in coastal regions, including the La Guajira peninsula, where farms are already operating and another large one is underway.

A solar panel model.
Some Colombian companies are also benefiting from the international market in climate change bonds, which pay companies for installing renewable energy generation. The money comes from climate change gas-generating industries in industrialized nations which want to compensate their pollution.

However, this enthusiasm shouldn't distract from the fact that Colombia is an important producer of coal and petroleum and plans to produce as much fossil fuel as it can during the next years. Altho almost all of those fossil fuels are burned overseas, they pollute the air and alter the climate of the whole planet - including Colombia's.

And to give just one example of the dire straits the planet is in, airline travel is expected to keep growing by an incredible 7 or 8 percent annually, and CO2 generated at high altitude produces much more potent cliate chaging effects. And Bogotá recently expanded its airport - and plans to build a second airport.

And lots of renewables won't do much good for the planet unless they actually replace polluting energies, instead of being additions to them.

The expo.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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