Renewable energies in El Salvador will be promoted in conjunction with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
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The country’s National Energy Policy places resources for renewable energies in El Salvador at the center of the country’s economic and social agendas.
El Salvador recently signed a framework agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). As a result, the two parties will work closely together to boost the Central American country’s national decarbonization efforts to support its climate change and economic development goals. During the 12th IRENA Assembly, the agreement was signed by Ms. Alexandra Hill Tinoco, President of the Assembly and Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, and Francesco La Camera, General Director of IRENA.
El Salvador is in the process of implementing a new long-term national energy policy for the period 2020-2050. Over this time, the Salvadoran government will aim to reduce electricity rates in the country. This will be done by prioritizing renewable energies over fuel imports and facilitating the elimination of electricity subsidies towards the end of the policy period. El Salvador is increasingly turning to indigenous renewable energy sources, including hydropower, biomass, photovoltaic solar power, and geothermal power. More than two-thirds of the country’s total energy supply came from imported fossil fuels in recent years.
Geothermal is prominent among renewable energies in El Salvador
“El Salvador is a key partner in implementing IRENA’s regional programs in Central America and an active player in the Global Geothermal Alliance. This cooperation agreement will support our national decarbonization plans and boost the financing for renewable energies projects in El Salvador. In addition, it will contribute to the development of geothermal energy, as well,” said Minister Hill.
Solar photovoltaic, wind and other renewable technologies have boomed in El Salvador in recent years. This is because the country’s leadership seeks to move away from traditional energy sources that are seen as potentially compromising the country’s socio-economic future. Government officials are making historic changes to its legal environment to promote public and private renewable energy projects in El Salvador. This is being done with a long-term view to providing affordable, safe, efficient, and modern energy for the country’s populace.
“IRENA is the most inclusive energy institution in the world that promotes cooperation between nearly 170 members from all corners of the planet on issues and opportunities related to the energy transition,” said Francesco La Camera. It is abundantly clear that renewable energies in El Salvador are a prerequisite for national economic and social development. The Salvadoran government’s continued close engagement with the IRENA, further reinforced by this agreement, is evidence that this is truly a critical priority for the current administration.’
Under the agreement, IRENA and El Salvador will implement the recently published Renewable Readiness Assessment (RRA) recommendations, and the energy component of the updated Nationally Determined Contributions presented at COP26. IRENA and El Salvador will also collaborate under the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF) to identify national projects in renewable energies in El Salvador that are eligible for financing as the country works towards achieving its goals.
The promotion and production of geothermal energy in El Salvador will be a crucial area of focus. Despite a long tradition in using geothermal energy, its development has slowed in recent years, with a limited number of new projects for power generation or heating applications coming online. Therefore, knowledge sharing, modifications to national policy frameworks, and project facilitation will be critical features of this important partnership.
Geothermal Energy used to mine Bitcoin
Recently, the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, asserted that El Salvador would promote the use of its geothermal resources for Bitcoin mining. This is a part of the effort to convert the country into a digital economy hub. Recently, in the country’s General Assembly, Foreign Minister Alexandra Hill Tinoco and Francesco La Camera announced an agreement to co-sponsor a geothermal ministerial meeting in El Salvador sometime in 2022.
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