The National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) has been approved and pending licenses for photovoltaic generation plants (solar) and wind by 3000 177 megawatts (MW).
This represents more than twice the energy demand of the country, which currently stands at 600 thousand MW, as recorded by the National Dispatch Center of the Electricity Transmission Company (ETESA).
The boom to build these renewable energy plants is partly due to the decrease in the cost of equipment, tax benefits they receive, since it is increasingly difficult to build hydro for the rejection of some communities and environmentalists.
There are 772 MW of definitive licenses granted by Asep for wind generation and 191 MW pending thousand requested by different companies and societies.
For photovoltaic or solar power plants, the regulator has approved 328 MW and 885 MW in final provisional licenses licenses.
Of the total approved projects it is approximately 100 MW under construction and would join the network soon.
Unlike hydroelectric and thermal plants, which on average are built with more than 100 MW of capacity, wind and solar are mostly small plants of 10 MW, to be eligible for incentives.
Before this boom, Etesa Asep requested to temporarily suspend the granting of new licenses for a study to determine how the system will be installed new plants.
What is sought is to stop when the plants are incorporated into the network generate instability or fluctuations affecting the rest of the line explained Etesa manager Ivan Barria.
Many small plants are being installed directly into the distribution network, emphasizing the problem of fluctuation, he said.
The study should take approximately two months and from there the mechanism to be used to connect solar and wind power plants to the grid will be determined.
This occurs in the midst of the crisis caused by declining rainfall due to El Niño that affects the level of the reservoirs of the Canal and used for hydroelectric generation.
The president of the Union of Industrialists of Panama, Ricardo Sotelo, this is an operational problem that can be solved. He said that Panama has a good energy matrix, but not the provision that when you hire wind companies were forced to have firm took power.
Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado
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