A solar dawn in Colombia?

With many people in Colombia living without access to the grid, there is a huge opportunity for solar to electrify the country, bringing much needed power to homes and businesses that must otherwise rely on unstable grid power or costly diesel generators. Diesel can drive the cost of electricity as high as $30-35 cents/kWh. New energy regulations coming into play soon in Colombia will make conditions even more favourable for solar, given panels and inverters will be exempt from VAT.

Presenting at Solarcentury’s recent event in Colombia, Jose Miguel Ferrer, Solarcentury business lead for Latin America, comments, “We see real opportunity for solar in Colombia, especially to help businesses control energy spend and improve competitiveness. Relying on diesel doesn’t make sense, financially or environmentally, when there are renewable technologies like solar then can provide cheap, clean energy. Working with solar investor ECOSolar and Colombian company Hybrytec, we are ready to bring our solar engineering expertise and experience accrued over the last 15 years to help us deliver successful solar projects in Colombia.”

Given the dependency on diesel in Colombia, the country is particularly well suited to solar hybrid systems. They can displace the grid when the grid is working, and displace diesel in daylight hours when the grid is down. The technology is especially attractive for high energy users such as manufacturing and processing businesses.

Solarcentury’s event held in conjunction with the UKTI in Colombia raised awareness for solar and solar hybrid technology. Over 100 people including the British Ambassador to Colombia, Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Ken Clarke, various local business leaders and investors, solar companies government officials and local media.