Nicaragua is setting a new course towards energy security, reducing its dependence on foreign oil from 80% to 6% within a decade, becoming an international leader in renewable technologies by 2016.
WASHINGTON, DC, January 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Nicaragua is setting a new course towards energy security, reducing its dependence on foreign oil from 80% to 6% within a decade, becoming an international leader in renewable technologies by 2016.
Since 2007, the Nicaraguan government has worked to fix the immediate energy problem by installing an additional capacity of 343 megawatts of power--41% more power than Nicaragua was producing five years ago. Now, for the first time in more than a decade, Nicaragua is producing a surplus of energy.
"This is about the conservation of natural resources, assuring energy security policies and ensuring the competitiveness of the country," said Emilio Rappaccioli, Nicaragua's Minister of Energy and Mines.
Geothermal production has increased and Nicaragua has started a very successful foray in to wind-energy production on the privately owned Amayo I and II wind farms, which are now producing 63 megawatts of power. By the end of 2012--a year the UN has dubbed "The Year for Sustainable Energy for All"--Nicaragua hopes to reduce its dependency on foreign oil by an additional 10%, finishing the year with an energy matrix that is 40% from renewable sources.
And that's just the beginning. By 2016, once the massive Tumarin hydroelectric plant comes on line, generating an additional 253 MW of power (50% of the country's total energy demand), Nicaragua will generate 94% of its own electricity from renewable energy sources.
In a five-year period, Nicaragua will have gone from being the most oil-dependent nation in Central America, to the least. And in a 10-year period, Nicaragua's energy sector will have been transformed to an international leader in renewable technologies.
"In keeping with United States international policies and goals, the U.S. Government recognizes ambitious efforts in Nicaragua to address climate change by radically shifting its electricity generation from petroleum-based to renewable sources within a short window of time," says William Cobb, the U.S. Embassy's Energy and Environment Officer.
That's an understatement as far as Nicaraguan authorities are concerned.
This article first appeared in The Nicaragua Dispatch, Nicaragua's English-language news source www.nicaraguadispatch.com.
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