Accelerating Colombia’s Renewable Energy Future Through Private Sector Engagement

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After awarding nine power purchase agreements, Colombia incorporates a private sector engagement strategy to ensure renewable energy projects are completed.

Today, many developing countries are creating policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks to attract private investment in clean energy, increase energy efficiency, and expand electricity access. USAID works in partner countries across all aspects of the energy sector to support their journey to self-reliance.

USAID and the Colombia Ministry of Mines and Energy Partner on Auctions

The Government of Colombia held its second renewable energy auction and awarded power purchase agreements to nine solar and wind projects on October 22, 2019, with a total capacity of 1,374 MW. Procuring energy using a competitive, transparent process increases Colombia’s energy resiliency and the sector’s ability to reliably meet electricity demand by incorporating more clean energy into the generation mix. In addition, all Colombians will enjoy the benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and more affordable energy.

After this historic achievement, the Government of Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) strategically decided to incorporate private sector engagement to ensure project completion. Across Latin America and globally, power projects have experienced delays, cost overruns, and sometimes cancellations due to insufficient engagement with the private sector, communities, and other stakeholders. Communities often perceive that the benefits of the power infrastructure do not reach the local population, and those most affected are not involved in the process, which can result in resistance to projects and unrest.

Led by the Office of the Vice President, the Government of Colombia set out to develop a comprehensive and multi-sector initiative to address a number of issues in Guajira, the state where the majority of awarded projects would be located. While Guajira is rich in some natural resources, it is a desert region and one of the most impoverished parts of Colombia.

As part of this initiative, USAID is supporting the MME, labor ministry, and other stakeholders in the development of a workforce plan that would construct and operate an expected first wave of about 2,531 MW of renewable energy between 2021 and 2024, consolidate a development engine for the region, and catalyze long-lasting economic benefits for the local population.

For More Information

Inspection engineers standing on top of a wind turbine
USAID is helping Colombia diversify its energy mix with renewable energy while combating climate change, lowering electricity costs, creating local jobs, and promoting gender equality in the energy sector.
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2018–ONGOING, COLOMBIA – USAID is helping Colombia diversify its energy mix with renewable energy while combating climate change, lowering electricity costs, creating local jobs, and promoting gender equality in the energy sector.

Happy woman relaxing with wind generators turbines beautiful sunset background.
Happy woman relaxing with wind generators turbines beautiful sunset background in Khao Kho mountain, Petchabun, Thailand.
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Auctions are best practice for procuring least-cost energy. This competitive, transparent process helps countries meet their energy and climate goals and attract investment into their clean energy futures.

In today’s rapidly evolving renewable energy marketplace, it can be challenging to keep track of current best practices in renewable energy policy, innovations, and market trends. USAID developed the Renewable Energy Auction Toolkit to help international development professionals, energy ministries, utilities, policymakers, and regulators to design and successfully implement energy auctions that expand access to affordable and sustainable clean energy.

Mother holding her son in nature. Wind turbines in the background.
Through the Scaling Up Renewable Energy program, USAID helps partner countries power economies with renewable energy, meet international climate commitments, and open markets to private investment and competition.
© Viktor Pravdica / Adobe Stock

2017–ONGOING, GLOBAL – USAID’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program helps partner countries meet bold climate commitments by accelerating their transition to more affordable, reliable, and accessible energy that spurs growth, powers health systems, and reduces emissions.

Through SURE, USAID provides a variety of services to help policymakers, utilities, and regulators plan, procure, and integrate renewable energy, modernize energy sectors, and create policies that enable sustainable energy markets to flourish. As more countries aim to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and reduce hazardous waste, SURE’s Innovation Fund supports clean energy technology, energy efficiency innovation, and a circular economy for renewable energy equipment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 5:00pm

Last updated: May 18, 2022