Colombia imposes renewables quota on power distributors

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With a pending national auction set to procure large scale solar and wind power generation capacity, the Colombian government has moved to introduce an obligation for power distributors to acquire clean energy.

Resolution 40715 has been published on the website of Colombia’s Ministry of Energy and Mines and mandates that all power companies operating in the wholesale energy market ensure at least 10% of the power they distribute has come from renewables.

The annual obligation will come into force from January 1, 2022 – the deadline for wind and solar projects in the forthcoming auction to reach commercial operation.

The resolution, the draft version of which was put out to consultation on August 10, stipulates power companies must procure the clean energy concerned under long-term contracts lasting at least a decade and registered with the Administrator of the Commercial Exchange System.

Colombia’s National Mining and Energy Planning Unit last week revealed 27 renewables project developers will participate in the energy auction, which will be held by the end of next month.

In an interview with pv magazine’s Eckhart Gouras, Carolina Obando, regulatory coordinator of renewable energy association SER Colombia, explained how new rules were introduced to improve the auction rules, leading to optimism about the results. An initial, failed attempt to hold the auction in February ended up assigning no capacity because the offers received did not meet criteria set for ensuring market competition.