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Creating Energy on the Cheap in Honduras

Article Summary:

Investors are pointing to wind generation, hydro, geothermal and solar power as the newest forms of direct foreign Investment for Honduras. Laws are on the books to make it easier for companies seeking to enter into the market to get started, so far 30 energy companies have signed on.

Photo Credit: La Prensa Honduras

Original Article Text From La Prensa Honduras via Google Translate :

There Is Interest In Developing 30 Renewable Energy Projects In Honduras

The high cost of thermal energy have forced the Central American countries to implement laws and initiate projects that lead to a noticeable change in the energy matrix, and would be completed in the next decade.

The nations of the isthmus have attached special importance to the issue, seeking to attract the investor through forums such as Energy Expo, which took place last week in this city, while implementing laws that allow contracts to buy long term.

Countries like Nicaragua in 2017 claim that 95% of the energy consumed in the country comes from renewable sources . In Costa Rica, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, ICE, the state electricity company, is preparing a tender for the generation of 200 megawatts, to be held in the first half of this year, and could see hydro and wind projects.

In this context, investors believe that Honduras has an advantage to be exploited to get slice of this “boom”: the ease of shopping in the long term.

Leonel Umana, Globeleq Development Manager Mesoamerica Energy, a company responsible for the wind farm Cerro de Hula , said that to develop renewable projects are the main limitation of these contracts.

“Costa Rica has a law similar to that of Honduras, but has the limitation that only covers small projects. Honduras is the best country that has these conditions, but have not entered many renewable, so investors looking to take this factor, “he said.

In the case of wind power, the country has the largest park in the region, Cerro de Hula, capable of generating 102 megawatts, also develop other projects that are generating additional 100 MW. The projection of the experts is to be achieved growth of 100 MW per year over the next decade. In Honduras, invest in energy from wind is less than 2.5 million dollars per kilowatt installed.

“Without doubt, the demand will grow, that’s why they can easily be installed between 50 to 100 megabytes per year not only here but throughout the region,” said Umana.

Mesoamerica Energy is generating about 300 megawatts in Central America and Honduras.

Solar energy
An inexhaustible source of energy comes from the sun king, so that several companies have funded hundreds of projects throughout the territory. Only the company Soluz Honduras has built twenty thousand solar lighting systems.

Richard Hansen, Soluz U.S. representative, said that They help systems especially in rural areas, where networks do not reach the National Electric Power Company, ENEE, and are small homes that, with funding of microfinance, have gained electricity in their homes.

“For families with basic needs such as TV, refrigerator, radio and bulbs, the system will cost between 300 to 800 dollars, but if we talk about large projects to generate one megawatt can cost up to $ 6 million, Our aspiration is to install this type of project in Honduras, “explained the expert.

From Soluz studies in rural areas of the country spent almost 300 lempiras a month (15 dollars) to buy gas or batteries for lighting, but when installing the system in about two years before recovering the cost invested in panels.

Paul Moya, geothermal energy specialist, explained that one of the most profitable for the country is the generation of energy sources of this type, whose unit cost per kilowatt hour measured in countries like Costa Rica, around 5 cents, versus the 46 cents paid for thermal energy.

“Honduras has volcanic soil areas that are appropriate for developing geothermal fields,” he said.

The expert says that Costa Ricans have managed to operate 163 megawatts in 10 years and Honduras estimate that may develop at least 60 megs for the same period.

“Currently, geothermal energy for us contributes about 15% of total energy, which are about 1,200 gigawatt hours. But in Honduras, making a low estimate of exploitation, we believe that in ten years can generate over 60 megawatts, “he said.

This potential, coupled with off the forums that promote energy, promise the desired change in the way of generating electricity. Thanks to Energy Expo is estimated that at least 30 projects will be formalized in the short term, according to organizers.

There is interest in hydro
During the forum, Energy Expo 2012, investors were particularly interested in hydropower generation through the construction of small dams in the country.
Riccardo Volontero, representative of the Brazilian company Voith Hydro, said that “we know that the potential in this type of energy is dispersed throughout the country. We are probing the market to find acceptance. We have ability to deliver complete solutions from 500 kilowatts to the largest hydroelectric plants in the world. ”

The South American Voith Hydro is a leader in hydropower generation that has 40,000 employees and a presence on five continents and a further 40 offices worldwide.

Link to Original Article:

From La Prensa Honduras

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