The Central American region has an enormous potential to produce electricity out of clean energy resources.
In Central America, electricity consumption almost doubled, according to recent data, from 22,000 to 37,500 gigawatt-hours per year. In addition, in similar proportions increased the installed capacity to produce electric power and total generation in the region. Part of this energy is obtained from fossil fuels, with a high economic and environmental cost.
The increase in the electricity consumption is not only due to the growth of the population, but also the fact that each inhabitant is consuming more and more. However there are some differences between the countries in the region. In Costa Rica, Panama and Belice the inhabitants take more of 1,500 and 2,000 gigawatts-hours per person per year, meanwhile in the rest of the Isthmus the consumption ranges go from 500 to just over 750 gigawatt-hours.
According to the experts, the Central Americans countries faces the challenges of transforming their electricity production matrix in order to depend less in oil and more in renewables sources.
In this challenge, the region is on the right track because about 60% of the electricity in Central America is produced from renewable sources. This production is composed of 42% by hydroelectric sources and the remaining 18% by other renewable sources such as geothermal, wind, or biomass. In addition, 40% of electricity from non-renewable sources is composed of 36% of oil and 4% of coal.
In Costa Rica, more of the 90% of the electric energy is produced with renewables sources, mainly hydroelectric. In Guatemala and El Salvador this proportion is close to 65%. In Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua the generation ratios from renewable sources are 52%, 44% and 34% respectively.
The region has considerably increased energy generation from clean sources, which has enabled them to reduce their dependence on oil.