Colombia issues legislation for self-consumption

Colombia's electricity demand is mostly covered by hydropower plants. The local government, however, aims at diversifying its energy mix with more solar and renewables from small power systems.

The government of Colombia has published the Decreto 348 del 1 de marzo de 2017, a new piece of legislation to support the installation of small and medium-sized renewable energy and solar power generators across the country.

The new regulations will apply to renewable energy power generators with a capacity of up to 100 kW and will simplify all the procedures to connect a system to the grid and to sell its excess power to the local market.

Under the new legislation, the local regulator Comisión de Regulación de Energía y Gas (CREG) will be compelled to establish a clear time frame for when new array can be installed and will have to define simplified procedures for both grid-connection and the sale of surplus electricity.

The new law also eliminates the obligation for PV system operators to have a back-up contract for their projects. Furthermore, the grid operator will only be allowed to deny the authorization for the grid-connection  “in case of proven technical reasons.”

CREG is expected to define the new remuneration mechanism for the sale of excess power in the near future.

CREG added that it also intends to make it easier to install renewable energy and PV systems with a power of up to 1 MW.

Colombia is turning to solar and renewables in order to diversify its electricity mix, which is largely dependent on hydropower. Not a single PV system exceeding 1 MW has been installed in the country to date. The largest PV installations are commercial systems with a capacity of hundreds of kilowatts. A 3 MW PV plant being built by local glass producer Tecnoglass, however, is set to be completed by March of this year. Furthermore, the company Celsia has started construction on a 10 MW project last month.

Translated by Emiliano Bellini. Original, in Spanish, here.