La Guajira, an unconventional energy renewable powerhouse in Colombia

La Guajira, an unconventional energy renewable powerhouse in Colombia

  • Currently, there is a process to enable 14 solar and wind power projects, as well as three transmission lines within the department in order to benefit communities locally and nationwide.
  • The first auction, which is going to allow for long term energy contracting that promotes unconventional energy sources, will be carried out during the first half of 2019.
  • The Ministry of Mines and Energy is committed to bringing electricity to 35,000 new users in La Guajira.
  • During 2019, solar panels will be installed in 10 school campuses or educational centers throughout La Guajira and learning kits will be delivered to their students.

Ministry of Mines and Energy. Uribia, La Guajira October 13th, 2018. On Saturday, the Administration of President Ivan Duque presented the national strategy for the large scale use of unconventional energy sources, within the framework of the ‘Construyendo Pais' workshop, which seeks to take the country from an installed capacity of 50 MW (similar to the energy consumption for a city like Ibague) to 1,500 MW (equivalent to the joint consumption of cities such as Medellin and Cali over a year), by the year 2022.

"This Administration is committed to diversification, competitiveness and supplementing our energy matrix. During the first half of 2019, we will carry out the first auction that will enable long term energy contracting, which shall primarily promote unconventional energy resources in order to contribute to environmental protection," said the Minister of Mines and Energy, Maria Fernanda Suarez.

Currently, there is a process to enable 14 projects for solar and wind power generations, as well as three transmission lines that will provide better services to users, especially within Cuestecitas, Maicao and Riohacha. These transmission lines are Colectoras, which shall begin in the High Guajira and end in El Paso-Cesar, together with Copey-Cuestecitas and Cuestecitas-Riohacha-Maicao.

Specifically, the Colectoras transmission line, which is presently undergoing the licensing stage and will begin operations in November of 2022, shall enable the transportation of energy from the High Guajira towards the rest of the country. With a length of 480 Km, it is the second largest project of this type in Colombia.

These 14 projects represent the possibility of creating around 5,000 temporary jobs, 60 percent corresponding to the local labor force that will receive training as well as unskilled labor.

Energy solution s for La Guajira

On the other hand, the Ministry of Mines and Energy is committed to bringing electricity to 35,000 new users, thus improving the quality of life for over 120,000 people in La Guajira. For the sake of achieving this, there will be new connections to the network as well as mini-grids and individual solar power systems.

During 2019, solar panels will be installed in 10 school campuses or educational centers throughout La Guajira that lack electricity service and learning kits will be delivered to their students, thanks to the support of Fenoge, the IDB and sector enterprises. This strategy shall begin in the municipality of Fonseca and teachers will receive pedagogical support from other educational institutions and UPME officials. In addition to bringing electricity services to several institutions, this initiative aims to let children and the youth acknowledge the significance of protecting the environment by using unconventional renewable energy.

More royalty resources for La Guajira

During the ‘Construyendo País' workshop, it was also announced that La Guajira will receive $147 billion pesos for investments as part of the 2017-2018 royalty budget. Furthermore, the department and its municipalities currently have an available balance of $360 billion for project approval.

With resources from the production incentive, towards the end of 2018 there will be an inauguration of sewer networks and wastewater plants for the rural settlement of Los Remedios in Albania, an expansion of medium and low tension electricity networks together with the Office of the Mayor of Barrancas, and an aqueduct for the El Campin indigenous community together with the Office of the Mayor of Manaure. 

 

Finally, the Ministry of Mines announced that Jonjocito-Uribia-La Guajira has been declared a Special Reserve Area, which promotes legal mining activities. It consists of 667 hectares where there is barite production, referring to a mineral mainly used as a filling for the manufacture of linoleum, surge fabric and paper as well as to make textiles, rubber and plastics. By the end of this year, another Special Reserve Area shall be declared, thus allowing more than 50 miners to enter a state of legality. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018, Guajira, URIBIA, Source: MinMinas
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