Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The Colombian government is interested in investing in renewable energy, which could present an opportunity for Wisconsin services or products.
Colombia has awarded contracts to install 11 new large-scale solar projects as part of the government’s effort to promote the use of renewable energy. The solar farms are expected to bring a capital investment of $3.3 trillion COP ($875 million USD) and begin operating in early 2023.
The projects will generate a total of 796.3 megawatts, Mines and Energy Minister Diego Mesa said.
Fifteen-year contracts were awarded to nine companies, including new entrants to the South American country such as France’s EDF, the UK’s TW Solar, Canadian Solar and two Spanish businesses, Solarpack and Energen.
Some 15% of Colombia's energy matrix will come from renewable sources—such as solar, wind and biomass—by 2023. The projects will be located in nine of Colombia’s 32 provinces, create about 4,700 jobs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 465,000 tons a year, Mesa said.
Colombia is targeting a 51% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, a commitment President Ivan Duque has repeatedly touted as he seeks to shore up his administration’s environmental legacy before he leaves office. Duque’s government says energy sources like solar and wind power will ensure a more resilient energy supply for the country and fight climate change. The government also plans to launch projects to produce hydrogen as a long-term clean energy source.
Colombia’s energy matrix is one of the greenest in the world. Its power supply has a 17,726 megawatt capacity, of which more than two-thirds comes from hydroelectric sources, while 31% is from natural gas and coal-fired generators, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.
As Columbia beefs up its renewable power sources, Wisconsin companies in that industry could have a chance at additional export opportunities.