Without a doubt, the energy transition has been the main public policy for the region under President Duke’s government.
We have implemented this process through various public policy tools such as the National Development Plan 2018-2022, which reformulated the incentives included in Law 1715 of 2014 to make the sector more attractive to new companies and investors. leveled the playing field; development laws, which created tax benefits for capital-intensive industries; A successful and innovative auction program for the assignment of non-conventional renewable energy projects, and the 2021 Law 2099 on the Energy Transition, which introduced additional improvements to the incentives of Law 1715 and extended those benefits to new technologies such as hydrogen zero and low energy efficiency. emissions, geothermal, energy storage, smart metering and efficient energy management. Finally, the Energy Transition COPS was released, which outlines a long-term roadmap to strengthen a fair, orderly and people-centred transition. The great condition is that the energy transition is accepted by all Colombians as a state policy.
The implementation of this regulatory framework, consistency in public policies and work teams, and harmonious and constructive relationships with the private sector have given the country great results and a very promising energy future. In this government, we have successfully awarded three energy auctions, one for reliability fees and two for long-term contracts, including the world’s first two-pronged mechanism to trade renewable energy. As a result of these auctions, the country had one wind project and one solar project, which added 28.2 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity and represented only a 0.2 percent power matrix in 2018, which was estimated to be over 2,880 solar and wind megawatts in 2018 and 2022. Meanwhile, multiplying more than 100 times the installed capacity of alternative sources, which we got in the beginning of the government and increasing the share of these sources in the production matrix to 14 percent. Additionally, in July 2021, the Energy Mining Planning Unit conducted a successful auction for large-scale battery energy storage with a capacity of 45 MW, making Colombia the first country in Latin America to carry out a process of this nature.
Energy transition is already a reality, as of June 2022, there are already more than 20 solar farms in operation in the country, three wind farms, 10 large-scale self-generation projects and about 3,000 small-scale photovoltaic solar projects. Accumulated capacity of about 1,000 MW. These projects have multiplied 35 times the existing capacity in August 2018 and are enough to supply the energy consumption of more than 700,000 households, while reducing emissions of more than one million tons of CO2, which are more than 18 plants. will be equal. million trees. Similarly, the projects which are already under construction and which are about to start assembly, it is estimated that around 2,500 MW will be constructed by the end of 2022 and more than 4,500 MW by the end of 2023.
In addition to renewable auctions, the country has made progress in including other clean energy sources. Between 2018 and 2022, the first two geothermal pilots were launched and the first forest biomass project was developed in Vichada, providing Puerto Carreo energy self-sufficiency, previously relying on a connection line with Venezuela. The first biogas plant at Meta was also commissioned and the construction of the first rice bran biomass plant at Cassanare began in June 2022.
However, the energy transition does not stop here and it is a long road that is just beginning. For this reason, and thinking about the future of the country, we published a roadmap for the development of zero and low emissions hydrogen and the production of offshore wind power in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Today the country already has two green hydrogen production pilots and more than half a dozen structured offshore wind projects, which will participate in the country’s first competitive round of allocation of marine sectors over the next few months. With the great potential we have in the Caribbean Sea, including perhaps the best wind system in the world, offshore wind power will be one of the region’s great heroes in the decades to come. Similarly, hydrogen is establishing itself as an energy source capable of decarbonizing industries intensively in use of polluting energy on a global scale, and for Colombia to be one of the main producers and exporters of clean hydrogen. Everything is there.
For all of the above, the energy transition is one of the great legacies we are leaving for Colombia’s present and future.
Colombian Minister of Mines and Energy