Solar Energy is Low-Cost, But Government Increases Prices

The non-tax exemption of equipment that generates solar energy, together with the gaps in its regulation, are some of the factors that make investments more expensive in Nicaragua.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Currently the scenario in Nicaragua is favorable for investments to be made in solar energy generation equipment, given that so far this year have been reported increases in electricity tariffs.

However, in the country investments for self-consumption of electricity are punished, since the current legal framework stipulates that if a user reports overproduction of energy from renewable sources and it leaks to the grid, that surplus is charged to the consumer.

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There is a rule that could change the current situation, but this does not yet apply in the country. Patricia Rodríguez, energy consultant, explained to Laprensa.com.ni that "... there is a distributed generation regulation that was approved at the end of 2017, which allows the population to generate their own energy for self-consumption with renewable sources, but at the same time they can inject to the national electricity grid the excess they produce of energy. The problem is that although the regulations exist, the appendix of the same has not yet been published, and therefore it is as if it does not exist."

Regarding the return on investment, Vladimir Delagneau, an electrical engineer, pointed out that "... an SME, which needs a plant with six kilowatts of power, would have to invest 12 thousand dollars in a solar photovoltaic system with battery or nine thousand dollars in a system without batteries, and within three years the investment will have been paid."

In the case of Costa Rica, years ago was regulated the self-consumption of energy, but it was reported that there was not much interest in investing, because of the high cost of installing the panels and that the return on investment is in the medium term.

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More on this topic

U Turn Over Tax on Solar Panels

May 2018

Due to the controversy that has arisen, the ASEP has decided to exclude from the discussion of adjustments to the Tariff Regime the proposal to tax the use of solar panels for self-consumption purposes.

Although the imposition of a fee for the use of solar panels for self-consumption purposes has been removed from the discussion, the Public Services Authority (Asep) stated that the 60-day deadline to receive comments on the subject is still valid.

Little Interest in Energy for Self Consumption

August 2016

Six months after the regulations come into force in Costa Rica less than 150 requests have been logged to set up distributed generation systems.

Some attribute the lack of interest to the cost of installing the panels and the return on investment being in the medium term. Jorge Blanco, spokesman for the Costa Rican Association of Solar Energy (Acesolar) believes that "...

Panama: Changes to Solar Power Standards

April 2016

Consideration is being given to removing the ceiling of 500 kW in installed capacity for solar power plants producing energy for self consumption.

The proposal by the Public Services Authority (ASEP) emerged as a result of the public consultation which was carried out on the rules to generate solar power for self consumption by households and businesses.

Nicaragua Discusses Incentives for Solar Energy

September 2013

A bill aims to have solar energy producers charge the difference between what they supply to and what they consume from the power grid.

The initiative could reach Nicaraguan Congress before the end of 2013. "We are working on the law for everyone who wants to produce and consume their own electricity, so that they can pay only the difference between what they use, in relation to what they deliver to the network (with solar panels)," said the president of the company Tecnosol, Vladimir Delagneau.

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