Analysis of Electricity Sector in Central America

In 2013 63% of the electrical energy fed into the transmission networks in the region was generated from renewable sources.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

From a report entitled "Central America: production statistics for the electricity subsector, 2013", prepared by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC):

"... The production of electricity in the six countries amounted to 45,735 GWh, 3.3% higher than in 2012. This energy was generated from the following sources: Hydro (47.4%), fuels fossil (petroleum and coal, 36.3%), geothermal (8.3%), bagasse in sugar mills (5%) and wind (3%). This means that 63.7% of the electrical energy fed into high and medium voltage utility networks was produced from the contributions of renewable energy sources (RES). By country, the FRE recorded the following participation: Costa Rica (88.2%). Guatemala (68.6%), El Salvador (60%), Panama (58.2%). Nicaragua (50.4%), and Honduras (41.3%). It is worth noting the significant increase of renewable energies in Nicaragua and Guatemala, which recorded 10.2% and 3.2% additional percentage points, respectively, relative to their shares in 2012. "

"... Installed capacity December 2013 totaled 12,798 MW, representing an increase of 3.3% compared to 2012. This represents a net increase in installed capacity of nearly 404 MW with the main additions corresponding to ACP thermoelectric generation (116 MW) and hydro Las Perlas (20 MW) in Panama; cogeneration in sugar mills (121 MW) and several small hydro stations (11 MW) in Guatemala; Termopuerto (71 MW) in El Salvador; the hydroelectric stations Pantasma (14 MW) in Nicaragua, Chamelecón (11 MW) in Honduras and Cubujuqui (22.4 MW) in Costa Rica."

More on this topic

Clean Energy: Growing Business in the Region

February 2019

In Central America and the Dominican Republic, the installed capacity of energy generation reaches nearly 20,000 MW, of which 62% correspond to clean sources.

Figures compiled by the Latin American Energy Organization (Olade) indicate that by 2017 the installed capacity of clean or renewable energy generators, including wind, hydro, solar and geothermal, exceeds non-renewable sources.

Panama Needs More Electricity

February 2018

Construction projects for water treatment plants, and extensions to the Metro and the airport, are works that will considerably increase demand for electricity in the coming years.

According to the National Interconnected System Plan 2017-2031, construction of several water purification plants in different areas around the country will increase demand for electricity, as they are " ... installations with intensive consumption of electricity, which require a timely forecast of the power required."

Central America: Which Country Has the Most Expensive Energy?

January 2018

In 2016, the average cost of 1 kWh in Central America was 13.48 cents, while in Costa Rica, it was 18.47 cents.

A report from the CEPAL indicates that in 2016, the average cost of one kilowatt hour (kWh) in Central America was 13.48 cents, while in Costa Rica it was 18.47 cents; 37% more for industrial consumption of 100,000 kWh. In El Salvador and Guatemala, it was 11.03 and 11.54 cents respectively. In Panama, 10.92 cents. 

Central America Not Leveraging Geothermal Energy

September 2017

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, the geothermal power generation potential of the region is 20 times higher than the current installed capacity.

The main reason behind the low utilization of geothermal energy is the high cost incurred in the initial stages of exploration and evaluation of available resources. However, once that stage is over, it becomes a more economical source of electricity than others, such as fossil fuels, according to studies by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).