The Electricity That Central America Needs

"The region still needs to install at least 7,000 MW by the end of the decade and make investments of between $12,000 million and $18,000 million."

Monday, June 22, 2015

While in Panama the energy supply needed to meet the demand of its growing economy falls short, to the north of the region, in Guatemala, there is surplus energy but generators are unable to sell it due to the lack of regulations governing the futures contracts and because the Siepac (Regional Electricity Transmission System) project is still does not working 100%.

"... According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which financially supports the initiative (Siepac project) 'the infrastructure for electricity interconnection in Central America is almost completed and more than 90% of the system is now operational.'" reports that "... the Siepac System (Regional Electricity Transmission) will strengthen the electricity network, from Guatemala to Panama, the project driven by the Regional Electricity Interconnection Commission (CRIE), aims to support training and progressive consolidation of a Regional Electricity Market (MER by its initials in Spanish). "

In addition to the network, which will sell energy from one side of the region to another more easily, IDB representatives claim that "the region still needs to install at least 7,000 MW by the end of the decade and make investments of between $12 billion and $18 billion."

More on this topic

Electricity Integration Requires More Infrastructure

February 2016

Transmission lines in the regional SIEPAC system are being used to distribute electricity internally in countries, curtailing their capacity for international exchange of energy.

When the US President Barack Obama visited Central America in 2013, he warned that "energy costs in this region are three times what electricity costs in Washington, and that represents a huge disadvantage for companies".Two years before that, all countries, from Guatemala to Panama, were committed to creating the necessary infrastructure for the Regional Electricity Market (MER) to be efficient.

Electricity Interconnection Opens Market in Honduras

March 2014

The link through SIEPAC allows Honduras to purchase cheaper energy from Guatemalan private power generators.

The opening of the penultimate stage of the Central American network opens up a new way for Honduras to obtain energy from outside of its domestic market at lower prices.

Regional Electricity Market Progresses in Central America

August 2010

The electricity sector's authorities have put together a series of concrete actions that should make the regional market a reality by the end of 2011.

During the meeting organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in San Jose, Costa Rica, energy ministers, electrical power generating organizations and regulators from across Central America reaffirmed their commitment to speeding up the process of harmonizing the region's legal frameworks in order to bring about energy integration.

Regional Electricity Integration by 2010

December 2008

SIEPAC will be launched Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama at a cost of $395.

According to reports from, "the electrical interconnection in Central America will start in 2010 and will cover some 1,800 kilometers of transmission lines (230 kilowatts), sources close to the project told the "El Panama America" daily.

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