Nicaragua among green energy leaders in Latin America
Nicaragua was featured as one of the Green Energy Leaders in the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) report presented early this month. The country was highlighted due to its efforts in transforming the energy paradigm. The report sums up the success stories from seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that prove that the region is positioned to lead the sustainable energy revolution.
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According to the report, Nicaragua’s “abundant resources allow this small country to boast great potential for hydropower, geothermal electricity and wind power.” In 2007, the country started investing in renewable energy and creating an attractive legal framework for the development of this sector.
From 2007 to 2013, Nicaragua’s renewable energy sources in the generation matrix increased from 25 percent to 52 percent. Geothermal and wind power accounted for more than 30 percent of it. “The great success story of Nicaragua has been the increasing market penetration of geothermal energy,” specifies the report. “Twenty years ago, there was no geothermal generated power in Nicaragua. By 2013, there were over 150 MW of installed capacity supplying around 16 percent of the total electricity consumed in the country.”
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Also important for Nicaragua’s renewable energy generation has been the ability to attract foreign investment. “In 2010, a historical USD$430 million was attracted to the sector, around half of it to geothermal generation, and half to wind power…since 2011 about USD$690 million have been brought to Nicaragua, the equivalent to 6 percent of the country’s 2013 GDP,” highlights the report.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.