Renewable Energy Projects And Legal Framework In Honduras

Autor:Mr J. Humberto Medina Alva
Cargo del Autor:CENTRAL LAW Honduras-Medina, Rosenthal & Fernández

The environment

As privileged as it is with the planet's finest natural reserves, Central America has passed many laws geared to the protection and sustainability of its environment, balancing its efforts toward ensuring economic growth for the region.

Honduras' current monthly energy consumption reaches the 1,200 mw. Energy production is based on thermal source (75%) and hydroelectric means (25%). Lately, other renewable sources, such as biomass, have emerged as alternatives to the actual setup.

The latter increment in oil prices have affected the country's energy matrix in a negative way and have brought upon final users the burden of a higher price for the energy they consume. As a response, the Government and private investors have realized that the current matrix could be reduced to more renewable sources, which in turn will provide energy at a lower cost. Therefore they are seeking for the development, construction and operation of renewable projects to take advantage of renewable energy.

The projects

Recently the National Congress approved more than 40 energy generation contracts with renewable resources, which include hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass generation projects as well as cogeneration initiatives. It is expected that in the next 5 years the projects will produce some 700 mw of renewable energy and the country will benefit through different levels of installed capacity.

In general, the projects will be undertaken in the next 20 years and will be located in different zones of Honduras like Intibucá, Comayagua, Cortés, Yoro, Santa Bárbara, La Paz, Copan, Atlántida, Olancho, Ocotepeque, Francisco Morazán and Choluteca.

More recently twenty-six projects regarding renewable energy were presented during "Honduras is Open for Business", an international forum, which took place last May in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, focusing on diverse sectors such as energy, infrastructure, agri-business, forestry, maquila services and tourism. These projects represent a total amount of US$2.663.091.566.00 million dollars. Among those projects are hydroelectric, biomass, hydropower, energy crops and bio-fuel projects.

Many of the mentioned projects are being executed and others are on their way, pending obtaining environmental licenses and other special permits to operate.

Regarding wind energy there is a project located at Cerro de Hula, Francisco Morazán, Honduras, which aims to produce 100 mw and is expected to be the biggest wind energy...

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