Nicaragua develops its renewable energy potential

A volcano in NicaraguaAccording to El Pais, Nicaragua and its six million inhabitants could get 90 % of its electricity from renewables by 2020. To date, the country is already getting 58 percent of its electricity from clean sources.

Enjoying huge amounts of sun and wind it could also benefit from large reserves of geothermal energy. Indeed, if the national grid has a capacity of about 1300 MW, its geothermal reserves are estimated to be of 1,500 MW.

These ample reserves can be explained by the many volcanoes and its important seismic activity.  To date, only ten percent of this energy has been developed in two plants : Polaris and Momotombo.

The Polaris plant has a capacity of 72 MW and saves 88 million dollars a year in oil savings. The 450 million dollars investment was carried out by the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank.

A real paradise for renewables, Nicaragua recently started a 44 MW wind farm. With 22 wind turbines, it cost 110 million dollars.

To conclude, El Pais notes that there is a cleantech arms race in the region as Nicaragua is willing to get more electricity from renewables than its neighbour, Costa Rica, which gets 84 percent of its electricity from renewables…

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