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Renewable energy in Colombia faces cloudy outlook

Friday, March 15, 2019

The 36,000 solar panels gleam in the tropical heat of a valley outside the city of Yumbo in western Colombia, feeding dozens of megawatts to a nearby soft drinks factory as well as the national grid.

The solar farm, built on the site of a former coal plant, is one of two mounted by electricity generator Celsia - the first such commercial farms in the country. Colombia offers dream conditions for producers of solar and wind energy.

President Ivan Duque’s government wants solar and wind to provide 9 percent of Colombia’s energy by the end of its term in mid-2022, up from 2 percent today.

But But Colombia’s first attempt to auction solar and wind energy contracts ended without a result last month after the government said that because many bidding companies failed to meet requirements the projects would have ended up in the hands of too few applicants, Reuters reports.