El Salvador Continues to Foster Renewable Energy Growth in the Country

The government remains steadfast in its commitment to increasing renewable energy generation in the country. Recently, the Directorate General of Energy, Hydrocarbons, and Mines (DGEHM) announced one of its key objectives: to develop the Indicative Plan for the Expansion of Electric Generation. This plan aims to evaluate the performance of the electricity generation market and identify opportunities for growth.

In pursuit of their renewable energy goals, the government recently organized a workshop focused on identifying investment needs and technical assistance to accelerate the adoption of renewables in member countries of the Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean (RELAC) initiative. The workshop brought together representatives from all sectors of the country’s electrical industry and received support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Rosilena Lindo, the Panamanian Energy Subsecretary and Focal Point of the RELAC Pro Tempore Presidency, emphasized the importance of the allocated funds: “Out of the $2.8 billion, 1.7% will be directed towards renewables, energy storage, energy efficiency improvements, low-emission fuels, and electrification. It is our responsibility as RELAC member countries to determine how much of this investment will be allocated to our nations.”

During the workshop, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) technicians from the United States Department of Energy delivered informative sessions on topics such as long-term planning, regulations, and financing for renewable energy storage.

One of the central themes addressed was the regulatory gaps concerning energy storage deployment and promotion. This barrier is not unique to El Salvador; it poses a challenge for many nations worldwide. In some markets, existing regulations fail to ensure an optimal operation for project developers, preventing them from obtaining equitable revenues.

The DGEHM plans to develop the Indicative Plan for the Expansion of Electric Generation to assess the performance of the electricity generation market and identify the needs for expanding clean and competitive energy generation technologies.

Juan Carlos Guevara, the Director of Energy, stated, “El Salvador is leading the way towards decarbonizing the energy sector, a goal we hope to achieve in the medium term. This will be made possible through the strengthening of updated and modern institutional and regulatory frameworks that enhance the competitiveness of the sector.”

Ricardo Bracho, an NREL specialist, emphasized the critical role of regulations in the operation of energy storage systems. “Service provision must be optimized while ensuring the reliability of the electrical system. Batteries are capable of providing countless services, and energy storage systems must deliver appropriate charging levels for customers and businesses,” he added.

With this project, both the public and private sectors are expected to present the workshop’s outcomes to the IDB. The objective is to establish an action plan that enables future technical assistance, overcomes regulatory barriers, maximizes the utilization of renewable energies, and generates more significant economic and environmental benefits for the country.