Renewable auction in Colombia awards 4.4 GW to photovoltaics

And we move from auction to auction. This time, we head to Colombia with this LinkedIn article by Serena Qian. In the latest auction that featured all renewable technologies, photovoltaics dominated its counterparts, securing 99% of the offered capacity, totaling 4.4 GW.

The 30 awarded projects are required to be operational between December 1, 2027, and November 30, 2028. The auction concluded with a price of $0.0182/kWh.

Among the successful bidders is Enel Colombia, the Colombian subsidiary of the Italian company Enel, which won bids for six projects with a combined capacity of 1.2 GW, representing a quarter of the awarded photovoltaic solar energy capacity. These projects are in different development stages, and the Fundación photovoltaic park (90 MW) is expected to be operational during the first half of 2024.

Additionally, Enel recently inaugurated the La Loma photovoltaic park with an installed capacity of 187 MW, considered the largest in Colombia.

Another solar developer based in Chile, Verano Energy, also secured a bid for its 270 MW Las Palmeras solar plant in the Colombian auction. With a declining Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE), photovoltaic energy has created opportunities for developers in Latin America, including Colombia. This trend is also observed in other Central American markets, such as Guatemala, which has shown interest in solar energy through government tenders and private investments.


Other manufacturers embarking on the journey to the Americas

In Solarletter #13, we saw how the German module manufacturer Meyer was betting on the U.S. market. The following somber news comes from El periódico de la energía, by Ramón Roca.

At the Revolution Energy Congress organized by the Valencian renewable energy association Avaesen, Lalo Salvo, the Technical Vice President of Power Electronics, declared that the company, a global leader in energy storage and manufacturer of solar inverters, plans to make substantial investments in improving its factory in the United States. Seventy percent of Power Electronics’ production is destined for the United States, and the company aims to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) (Solarletter #6).

Salvo criticized the lack of action in Europe compared to China and the United States, where significant support is being provided to renewable energy manufacturers. While Chinese manufacturers receive massive subsidies, the United States has implemented a unique industrial protection plan that requires companies to manufacture locally to sell in the country. Power Electronics plans to follow this approach and increase its presence in the U.S. market.

Another Valencian company, Endurance Motive, a battery manufacturer, is also planning to expand in the Americas with the construction of a new factory in Mexico. Ander Muelas, the President and co-founder of the company, called for more support in Europe to create quality jobs, emphasizing that confidence in the European industry is crucial.

José E. Cervera, Business Development Director of Silicon Valen, a Valencian manufacturer of solar modules, highlighted the need for immediate measures by the European Union to compete with China and the United States in the renewable energy industry. The concern revolves around the prices of Chinese manufacturers.

The clock is ticking, and the push for the European renewable manufacturing industry is yet to materialize. How many more companies must pack their bags for us to realize?

Imanol Matanza Medina