Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nicaragua: 50% of electricty is now from renewables

The Sandinista Minister of Industry and Mines, Emilio Rapacciolli proudly announced that this month of December has achieved the target of 50% of the energy consumed in the Central American country. The total accumulated for 2012 is of 40.5%, almost ten points above the 31.2% of 2011. 

Most importantly the money saved by not importing fuel for thermal generation amounts to more than $200 millions. 

Simultaneously the electric grid coverage has also improved dramatically, covering now 75% of the national territory (vs. only 52% last year) with 60,000 new homes (est. 350,000 people) that can enjoy of electric energy for the first time ever.

Much of this development has been achieved with the construction of five "small" and 20 "micro" hydroelectric centrals.

I mention mostly because I think that it is a great example of how environmentally friendly development is not a privilege that only the likes of Germany (also here) can afford (and profit from) but that it is also the way forward for all those small and less developed countries that truly want a future worth that name - and also a present. 

Cuba is another very active power in the development of renewable energies.

Source: LINyM[es].

See also: solar energy category here and in my old discontinued blog Leherensuge.


  1. Interesting. In Denver, Colorado, we get about 17% of our electricity from wind, 1-2% from solar and perhaps 4-5% from hydroelectric sources (it has been decades since there was a nuclear power plant in the region, although about 0.5% of our electricity has a nuclear source due to sharing with distant producers across the grid).

    The typical economic development cycle has been for hydropower to be a leading (and renewable) source of electricity early on, followed by a period of dirty coal fueled electricity being dominant, followed by a gradual boost in other electricity sources.

    Realistically, before too long, as its grid expands and its economy develops, Nicaragua will see its percentage of rewewable source electricity fall considerably before it starts to rise again.

  2. The choice of micro-hydro (much less harmful in all aspects than macro-hydro) is mostly as alternative to fuel, they are saving money with these investments.

    Other countries like Cuba and Germany have chosen primarily solar energy as the way to break their chains to fossil fuels (and in the German case, also nuclear, which is being phased out).

    While in Spain this path, which was very promising, has been sabotaged by the new conservative government, in Germany the success of renewable energy generation is such that they are pushing out of the market the traditional main electricity exporter of the region: nuclear-based France because renewables are much more competitive in the end.

    It's renewables or bust. Of course you always need a pragmatical approach but nowadays renewables are the most pragmatical approach in most cases.


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