Investment in Clean Energy Becomes Less attractive

The drop in oil prices has made clean energy less profitable, going from 30%, in previous years to 12%.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The approval of the General Electricity Law passed in Guatemala ten years ago encouraged a boom in the generation and transmission of electricity in the country, including from renewable sources. In the past five years, 28 new hydropower stations of over 5 MW were set up.

But according to a comprehensive analysis by the hydropower sector published on, "... the interest in new projects using alternative sources stagnated in 2015 because of the fall in energy prices, resulting from increased competition from the entry of new generators into the local market (including hydropower and other technologies). "

In this sense, according to statements made to by Carlos Colom, president of the Association of Renewable Energy Generators (Ager), "... the profit margin has lowered, but investments in clean energy are still attractive because there is still room for competition and the Law rewards cheaper energy. Roberto Barrera, CEO of Total Energy, also told the same newspaper that "... until recently, profitability was as much as 30%, but now it is around 12%."

More on this topic

Electricity Market Growing in Guatemala

September 2014

With the recently awarded contracts and tenders in process, it is estimated that by 2017 the energy matrix will grow by 52%, with hydropower accounting for 41.3%. reports that "...With the contracts awarded, which are for 15 years, the installed power generation capacity will go from 2,519 megawatts (MW) recorded last May to three 3,836 MW. "

Guatemala Hydroelectricity Potential

February 2014

A total of 32 new hydroelectric projects are being developed in different stages in the country with a capacity to generate 1,128 MW.

Although Guatemala has hydro potential for generating 5000 MW, so far only 18% is being utlised, through the 20 hydroelectric stations currently operating which have the capacity to generate 937.50 MW.

Plans for Energy Supply

May 2012

Guatemala needs to invest $400 million a year in new generating plants in order to add 1,685 megawatts to the electricity supply in 2026.

Of these 1,685 MW, 1,110 would be provided by hydropower, 300 from geothermal plants, and 275 with the use of coal, said Carlos Colom, president of the National Energy Commission (CNEE).

Guatemala Updates Electricity Expansion Plan

January 2012

By 2026, the country will generate 78% of its energy from renewable sources.

The changes proposed to the Generation System Expansion Plan 2012-2026 have already been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM).

In 2012, it is is expected to generate 50.5% from hydroelectric sources, 3.6% from geothermal sources, 3.5% from bunker fuel, 12% from biomass, 9% from the electrical interconnection with Mexico and 21.3% from coal.