Colombia has numerous resources for power generation and the development over the previous years has shown that wind energy is becoming increasingly important. So far, however, 70% of the power in the country at the northern tip of South America has been generated exclusively through hydropower, 29% come from fossil power plants. Prolonged periods of drought, triggered in particular through the “El Niño” weather phenomenon, can lead to low water levels in rivers and thus to bottlenecks in electricity generated from hydropower. To meet the increasing demand for electricity in Colombia and to minimize the risk of power outages, the government is aiming to diversify the energy mix and relies increasingly on wind power to complement power generation. And Colombia offers excellent conditions for wind power generation. In particular, the peninsula of La Guajira off the Caribbean coast in the north of the country, with its stable wind forces of around 9m/s, is ideally suited for wind power generation. Experts estimate an onshore potential of around 18GW and almost all wind projects under development in Colombia are located on that peninsula.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS SUPPORT AN OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK
Wind currently only accounts for about 0.13% of installed capacity in the country’s energy mix. Recent developments show, however, that the Colombian government plans to expand the amount of renewables (excluding hydropower) from 22.4MW to 1.5GW by 2023 and to even around 4GW by 2030. This would take the share of installed capacity from wind in Colombia’s power mix to a total of 12% over the next years.
In 2020, Nordex received an order for 41 N149/4.0-4.5 turbines of the Delta4000 series to be installed in Colombia. The turbines with a rotor diameter of 149 meters and a hub height of 105 meters will be erected on the La Guajira peninsula. The Nordex Group’s N149/4.0-4.5 turbine was the world’s first turbine with featured flexible rated power as part of its design and operating strategy. This design philosophy, in combination with a variety of operating modes in the 4MW and 5MW class, allows each Delta4000 turbine to adapt to grid requirements and local wind conditions. The N155/4.X, 155/5.X and N163/5.X turbine types of the Delta4000 series also have particular sales potential on the Colombian market. Customers continue to benefit from the Nordex Group’s diverse tower portfolio including the concrete tower solution ensuring cost-efficient implementations of wind projects.
The trend towards renewable energies in Colombia is unequivocal and in the years to come the installed capacity of onshore wind power is to grow gradually through new projects. The development, production, project development and maintenance of onshore wind turbines have, for over 35 years, been the core competence and passion of the Nordex Group and its more than 8,390 employees worldwide. Local teams manage project consulting and provide operation and maintenance services on site. With a total of 224.5MW of onshore wind power sold, the Nordex Group is the market leader in Colombia and thus ideally positioned to actively drive forward the energy transition in this South American country, as well as to collaborate with the sustainable development of both the country and the region.
Manuel Jurado – Country Manager Colombia
Manuel Jurado has 19 years of experience in the energy sector. He has been active in the Colombian market for eleven years, of which he spent five years as country manager in the country’s largest power generation projects. Manuel Jurado joined Nordex Group in April 2021 as Country Manager Colombia.
Javier Rebollar – Head of Sales Mexico, Central America and Colombia
Javier Rebollar started his career in renewable energy 12 years ago. In 2015, he became part of the Nordex sales team and took over as Head of Sales Mexico, Colombia and Central America of Nordex Group in 2020.