The South American country of Paraguay will soon take its first step towards implementation of renewable energy technologies and, in process, will join other major economies on the continent in moving towards large-scale adoption of clean energy.
According to media reports, the legislature of Paraguay is expected to approve the country’s first renewable energy law before the year’s end. The law is likely to have provisions asking the country’s power utility, ANDE, to acquire a set minimum percentage of electricity from renewable energy sources – similar to Renewable Purchase Standards applicable in the United States.
This percentage is expected to be 5%, which is not as ambitious as seen the world over. Yet, it could be a good start which may eventually lead ANDE to voluntarily increase the renewable energy share. The law is expected to focus on distributed renewable energy generation to enable electricity access for remote regions of the country.
However, ANDE may also initiate competitive auctions for large-scale solar and wind energy projects. Several countries across South America have successfully implemented competitive auctions in the renewable energy sector, including Chile, Brazil and Peru.
While some may say the 5% target is too little, too late it is worth noting that nearly 100% electricity generated in the Paraguay comes from hydro power projects. In the primary energy consumption, however, oil remains a large contributor at 37% in 2012, with biomass leading with 45% share.
In 2015, an initiative was launched to map the solar and wind energy potential in Paraguay. There has been no recent update on the outcome of that exercise.