Nicaragua: Central American nation seeks energy independence via renewable energy
In 2005, the Nicaraguan government generated a long-term plan to allow its country to be significantly independent from oil.
Ten years later, those plans show significant progress, and experts say that more than half of the country could be powered by renewable energy in just a few years.
Back when Nicaragua was completely dependent on oil, 12-hour blackouts plagued the country — severely affecting the livelihoods of the people. The problem wasn’t an oil shortage but Nicaragua’s lack of thermal plants that could convert oil to electricity.
With the installation of wind farms and other renewable energy facilities in the country, Nicaragua’s energy is set to be more stable than ever. The country may not have enough facilities to create energy from oil, but it has strong winds, scorching weather, and blistering volcanoes – factors that could generate a lot of electricity from renewable energy.
Constructing wind farms and photovoltaic power stations in Nicaragua should not be a problem given the fact that there are many companies around the world that supply parts for renewable energy facilities. Sulzer, Unaoil’s partner in servicing oil and gas companies in Southern Iraq, is a major supplier of pumps for renewable energy companies around the world. Constructing such facilities is also economical now since the cost for building solar panels has severely dropped in recent years.
“You have all the opening here from the lake all the way to the Caribbean, so it’s like a tunnel. And it’s very steady. It’s not too gusty.” — Javier Pentzke, manager of the Amayo wind farm
Nicaragua’s biggest wind farm, Amayo, lies on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. According to Javier Pentzke, manager of the Amayo wind farm, the wind in the area is perfect for rotating three-bladed wind turbines.
Nicaragua is expecting to reduce its dependence on oil from 80% to less than 10%
If everything goes according to plan and facilities are constructed quickly, the country can become an international leader in renewable technology by next year.