Francisco Ortega / May 2019
Next, we are going to present the evolution of the different technologies that in the Dominican Republic compose renewable energies and with this information, we will try to sense where we are, where we should be and what we should do.
B. Evolution of the different renewable technologies.
We can say that the hydroelectric development of the Dominican Republic began in 1973 with the construction of the Taveras dam with a capacity of 80 MW, today we have an installed capacity of 615 MW, which in the years of abundant rain have accounted for 12% of the energy demanded.
The above is equivalent to saying that: The country has taken 46 years to achieve an installed hydroelectric capacity of 615 MW and an energy contribution that, under the current conditions of demand of the Interconnected National Electric System, can reach a maximum of the order of 11%.
Changes in climate are causing a water emergency in the Dominican Republic, rains are less frequent every day, which together with deforestation and dredging of rivers, is causing them to reduce their flow considerably and many are drying up , then, in hydraulic terms we look at the future, we can say that:
a. That every day we will have less, less site for new hydroelectric plants, the hydroelectric system of the Dominican Republic, it seems that I will not be able to have a significant growth.
b. The production capacity of existing hydroelectric plants is decreasing.
- Law No. 57-07 contains incentives for the development of hydroelectric projects with a capacity of up to five MW, however, through this Law, no hydroelectric project has been developed.
2. Wind power
The wind power development of the Dominican Republic, began in 2011 with the Los Cocos project, by the end of this year 2019, the country may have an installed capacity of 425 MW of wind power.
Among the projects that are in operation and those that are proposed to enter soon, have occupied the best places for the development of projects, in terms of wind power, interconnection facilities, agricultural development and environmental conflicts.
We still have many possibilities to develop wind projects, but the next projects, because they do not have the most favorable conditions of the first ones, will be more expensive, so their energy production will be more expensive and this is not desirable neither for the investors, nor for the Dominican state.
With this, we can think that in the Dominican Republic the development of new wind farms will be uphill.
The development of large solar projects in the Dominican Republic corresponds to photovoltaic projects, its development began in 2016 with the Monte Plata Solar project, by the end of this year 2019, and the country may have an installed capacity of 162 MW solar.
Apart from the above, in the country, under the modality of self-consumption, the country has about 102 MW, for a total photovoltaic of 264 MW.
As in the Dominican Republic, we have abundant sun in practically all the national territory, which together with a considerable reduction of the installation costs of the photovoltaic technology, results in the development of these projects in the Dominican Republic. It has important growth expectations.
Currently in the Dominican Republic, there is only one biomass project injected into the electricity system, it is San Pedro Bio-Energy, which has a capacity of 30 MW, and the same start its operations in the year in 2016.
In the immediate future, the entry of other biomass projects is not foreseen, however, the Dominican Republic has a great potential for the development of biomass projects, which only encourages us to ask, Why in the Dominican Republic have not been developed more biomass projects?
C. Results of the development of renewable projects.
The country by the end of this year 2019 may consist of the installation of 1,332 MW of clean energy, of which 615 are hydraulic, since they were installed by the state, were not installed through the Incentives Law No. 57-07.
This means that, 12 years after Law 57-07 was issued through it, only 717 MW have been installed, corresponding to wind, solar and biomass, which is where it is expected that renewable energies must grow, since, as we explained earlier, the growth of hydroelectric plants is already very limited.
The hydraulic energy, as it is firm, with a good year of water, under the current conditions of demand, will be able to contribute 11% of the energy demanded, the 717 MW of clean energy corresponding to wind power, photovoltaic and biomass, will only be able to provide a maximum of 6% of the demand.
This means that, in the Dominican Republic, by the end of this year 2019, clean energy will only be able to contribute 17% of the demand.
Considering the growth of the demand of the order of 3% per year, for the year 2025, we will have an energy consumption of 20 GWH, this means that in order to achieve the goal of providing 25% of the demand based on clean energy, Dominican will have to install approximately 1,200 MW of renewable energy, which.
If we analyze the historical growth of renewable energies in our country, as well as our technical and economic capacity to develop projects, it seems almost impossible, that by the year 2025, we Dominicans can supply 25% of the energy demand with renewable energies.
D. Renewable energy goal in Law No.57-07.
The Dominican Republic in 2007 issued Law No. 57-07, On Incentives for the Development of Renewable Sources of Energy, in its article 21, specifies the following:
Article 21.- All the authorities of the electric subsector shall ensure that 25% of the service needs for the year 2025, are supplied from renewable energy sources. ...
- As we can see, this law clearly defines its objectives in terms of clean energy production goals.
By 2025, 25% of the energy demand (GWH) must be provide from renewable energy sources
Note. Apart from this Law 57-07, there are other important regulations that support the use of renewable energies, which we will analyze in other documents.
E. Next public bid for energy purchase.
The Dominican state, informally, has announced that the next developments of projects based on renewable energies will carried out by a public bid, and based on this; by the year, 2020 will launch a public bid for the installation of about 250 MW of renewable energy.
As we can see, these 250 MW are just a fraction of the approximately 1,200 MW that will needed to cover 25% of the demand with clean energy.
In plain terms, the actions of the Dominican state, announced up to this moment, are short if in fact it wants to reach the goal to cover 25% of the demand with clean energy for the year 2025.
F. Learn more.