Peru to Unveil Plans for Renewable Power Auction During UN Talks

The auction will be held in the first half of next year and will allow bids for solar energy, wind power, biomass and geothermal energy projects, said Pedro Gamio, energy coordinator for the United Nations-organized climate talks.

“Peru’s main objective is to diversify its energy mix, which means to use cleaner and more economic sources,” said Gamio, who was deputy Minister of Energy and Mines of Peru from 2006 to 2008. “The most cost-effective technologies will be promoted, such as wind and solar energy,” in the auction.

About half of Peru’s power, 3.9 gigawatts, came from plants that burn oil and natural gas last year, and almost as much, 3.5 gigawatts, came from large hydroelectric dams.

The country is seeking to double its renewable-energy capacity and reduce its use of fossil fuels. Renewable energy produces about 2.7 percent of the country’s power, according to Gamio. The government has set a goal of 5 percent.

Envoys from more than 190 nations will meet in Lima at the start of December for two weeks of negotiations organized by the UN. They’re working to craft a global agreement on carbon emissions that will be signed next year in Paris and take effect in 2020.

Peru may eventually get as much as 60 percent of its power from renewable sources, including large hydropower plants, up from 50 percent now, Energy and Mines Minister Eleodoro Mayorga said this week. He did not provide a timetable for the transition.

Power demand in Peru increased 5.4 percent in 2013, while gross domestic product gained 5.8 percent, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The country attracted $3.4 billion in clean energy investments from 2006 to 2013, according to New Energy Finance. Auctions for renewable energy will give lenders more confidence that the industry will continue to grow.