Wind energy industry to invest $1.8bn in Colombia in next three years following successful tender

In last month’s first renewable energy auction in Colombia, 1.3GW of renewable energy capacity was awarded through 15-year PPA deals, with wind energy accounting for 1,077MW of this capacity.
The wind farm projects awarded in the auction will increase renewable energy capacity from 1% today to 6%, with a goal of increasing this to 17% by 2030.
New regulation must be put in place to pave the way for the energy transition in Colombia to address issues that will challenge the project development phase such as environmental licencing, grid connection and integration of wind turbines, local project financing and long-term industrial planning must continue to be addressed by the industry and policymakers to ensure that these projects can develop efficiently to deliver clean and competitive energy for all Colombians.
With the participation of authorities, regulators, and leaders of the wind power industry at the national and global level, Colombia Wind Power 2019, the country’s official industry event, took place in Bogotá to explore what’s next for the wind energy industry in Colombia.
In order to take a closer look at the development of wind energy in the country, national and international experts from government and industry met today in Bogotá for Colombia Wind Power 2019 to assess the most important challenges in the sector moving forward after the recent success of renewable energy auction in the country. Organised by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and SER Colombia, this one-day event seeks to generate a dialogue around the most important issues that impact the development of wind power projects in the country.

“With the international context of necessary acceleration of renewable energy to reduce carbon emissions along with the maturity of wind power technology and its competitiveness in energy markets globally have been strong drivers to set up renewable energy targets in Colombia. These targets will be crucial to support the country’s energy policy frameworks to increase energy efficiency, diversify the security of energy supply and ensure universal access to electricity for all Colombians. The success of the tender is due to strong coordination among institutions and the significant participation of stakeholders throughout the entire process, we can apply this model now to the other regulatory issues that face the renewable energy sector” said Julián Zuluaga, Head of Office for Regulatory and Business Affairs at the Ministry of Mines and Energy Colombia (MINENERGIA).

“Green growth in Colombia is becoming a priority for the country. In the country’s first renewable energy auction last month, the winning projects will generate more than US$ 2.2 billion in investment over the next three years. Wind power accounted for 83% of the allocated capacity and is therefore an industry with enormous potential to attract even more local investments and jobs to build Colombia’s economy while moving towards a more secure and low-carbon energy system”, said Ramón Fiestas, Chair of the Latin American Committee of the Global Wind Energy Council. “As Colombia is considered one of the top twenty countries at the greatest risk for climate change impact, we must make sure that we continue on the momentum of the auction to power sustainable development in the country”.

“Although we are undoubtedly thrilled with the results of the first renewable energy auction in Colombia, it is very important now that we continue to analyse the challenges that persist for the wind energy industry, which could potentially lead to roadblocks as we develop this emerging market. From environmental licensing to grid connection, we must create regulatory frameworks that continue to boost the renewables industry by working with government authorities to build a comprehensive long-term plan in a post-auction market so that all winning projects can be efficiently integrated in the energy system”, said Germán Corredor, Executive Director of SER Colombia.

Colombia Wind Power 2019 featured the participation of high-level sector authorities, regulation experts and companies from the wind power sector. Topics discussed at the event included both the government and industry perspective on the auction, local project financing, immediate challenges for project development, medium and long-term plans for grid connection and integration of renewables into the energy system as well as an update on Colombia’s ‘Mision de Transformacion’. From policy, to financing, to technical topics – this event is an important platform to engage with all the relevant stakeholders to discuss how we can unlock the wind energy potential in Colombia.

Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) is a member-based organisation that represents the entire wind energy sector. The members of GWEC represent over 1,500 companies, organisations and institutions in more than 80 countries.