Salvadorans saved around $33 million in the payment of electricity rates in 2022, thanks to the price stabilization measure promoted by the government since March of that year and to the growth in renewable generation, as the president of the Commission recently highlighted. Daniel lvarez, Executive Director of the Lempa River Hydroelectric Company (CEL).
«In 2022, the rate stabilized, a huge effort was made. We saw the capacity that the state has with its generators, both hydroelectric and geothermal. These renewables come in and support the price of energy and keep it stable throughout the year, since there is less dependence on fossil fuels and their price in the international market,» he pointed out.
Last year, the country’s energy matrix closed with about 75.9% of generation from renewable sources. The National Energy Council (CNE) reported that hydroelectric power represented 33.70%; geothermal represented 23%; wind power represented 2.13%; solar represented 8.48%; and biomass represented 8.65%.
With this, the head of CEL highlighted that what was produced by the state’s hydroelectric and geothermal plants constituted more than 50% of all the energy that was injected into the national grid.
«In 2022 it closed with a positive generation. Since 2010, it was the highest number that had been, not so much energy had been produced in hydroelectric resources; in addition, in geothermal power plants, we also had the highest generation in recent years […] In 2022, 106,718 megawatt hours (MWh) were produced in hydroelectric plants,» he added.
The official also mentioned that having low energy prices contributed to the country not being aggressively impacted by world inflation.
«By stabilizing energy, the industry is not forced to raise the prices of products or any input,» he remarked.
Now, in 2023, the administration of President Nayib Bukele will continue to focus its efforts on strengthening the commitment to renewable energy so that Salvadorans receive more benefits.
«President Bukele’s policy is that global economic shocks do not hit the pocket of the Salvadoran people, and that is what is being worked on so that we have stable prices throughout this new year,» he added.
Already for this first quarter, the General Superintendence of Electricity and Telecommunications (Siget) reported that the average price of electrical energy consumed by Salvadorans will have a reduction of 2.56%; some distributors even report a drop of up to 13%. According to Álvarez, this is in response to the government’s ongoing actions.
«The drop is due to this boost to renewables, as well as the good use of resources that already existed. Hydroelectric and geothermal plants have been given timely maintenance. In addition, good use of the water has been made», he specified.
More renewable projects in 2023
The president of CEL announced that growth in power generation with state-owned companies is projected for this year, through new initiatives.
In the coming months, the construction projects for two new geothermal plants will be awarded, one located in Chinameca, San Miguel, and another in San Vicente.
«This makes us have more geothermal energy. That’s about 30 additional megawatts (MW). This will increase by between 5% and 7% the percentage of geothermal in the matrix », he reported.
In addition, the completion of the design of a biogas plant, located on the Acelhuate River, is expected, as is the conclusion of the construction of the first photovoltaic plant in the state in Talnique, La Libertad.
«In addition, more wind projects and photovoltaic projects are coming. The first stone was laid last year for the state’s first photovoltaic plant, which is due for completion at the end of this year. There are 17 megawatts that are going to enter the matrix,» concluded the head of the institution.