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(2) Write a paragraph explaining why and how your country is using one particular (most important or interesting source of renewable energy to generate electricity (or other, e.g. fuel). A study on the energy issues in Guatemala in 2006 showed clearly that the potential for renewable energy is quite high and partly exploited so far. 52% of Guatemala’s electric demand is covered by renewable sources, from which hydroelectric plants are about 80%. Landscape is suitable in several places for construction of dams and storage of water for use in producing energy, and due to the cost-efficiency rate it seems the best and , and perhaps for now, only choice for my country. The potential hydroelectric power was estimated in 14,441 GWh, which is more than two times the nowadays total demand of electricity. Recently the second biggest hydroelectric power plant (Xacbal) was inaugurated, and will produce 6% of the national requirement. Another one (Xalalå) is being planned for the coming 2-3 years and further places are being considered for future. For long time there was not improvement on the existing hydropower plants but recent oil crisis has pushed the government towards coal consuming plants and hydropower. (3)What are the biggest potentials concerning renewable energy production in your country and what obstacles hinder a higher degree of their use now or in the future? Traditionally Guatemala has produced energy from renewable sources. Before mid nineties estate produced all electricity from renewable sources and owned all the power plants and didn’t worry to increase the offer of energy accordingly to the population growth and demand of power, which led to rationing and blackouts in the whole country. As emergency measure, the government started to install geothermal plants under non-strictly regulated contracts that made the contractors to have huge advantages in the negotiation stages. The construction of hydropower plants had a hiatus due to the high costs and population rejection. This led to use of fossil fuel consuming plants and to continue the traditional heat and cooking customs (biomass). 93% of the total energy offer belongs to domestic non-electric branch, which makes reasonable to see that 82.5% of total energy is produced by biomass (firewood and sugar cane bagasse). Hydroelectrical power is supposed to be renewable, but has a high dependency on the upstream forest coverage. In recent years, the biggest hydropower plant in Guatemala (Chixoy) suffered of low levels of water, which made authorities to decide to ration energy distribution to avoid sudden blackouts in summer. The problem resides in the deforestation upstream, caused by high consumption of firewood by inhabitants that had no access to other source of energy or used traditional stoves. This said, it must be remarked that Guatemala is a country that has available lots of natural resources to produce energy. As any other country in earth, the production of energy increased as the population and development did too and if appropriate policies are taken by government it is possible to attain a low-carbon production of electricity.


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