Hydropower is centerpiece of Ecuador energy plan

Ecuador aims to double hydropower use over the next decade and increase grid capacity, according to senior government officials.

Ecuador wants 86 percent of its electricity needs to be covered by hydroelectric power by 2020, up from 43 percent now, Luis Castelo, an official at Ecuador's ministry of electricity and renewable energy, told Reuters in an interview.

"We have massive hydroelectric resources in the country that have not been exploited for a long time," Castelo said at a climate forum in the central Mexican city of Leon.

But he said one challenge is to appease local communities in the Amazon region that have voiced opposition to large-scale hydroelectric projects.

"There is a lot of resistance from the indigenous communities. There's been a lot of effort to work with the communities so they see the projects as a source of jobs."

The ministry, created in 2007, is now charged with implementing a clause in the country's new constitution that commits to increasing Ecuador's use of renewable energy.

Ecuador has world-class precious metals deposits that have yet to be exploited and increased electricity capacity could help lure investors. "The mining industry demands a lot of electricity. We are proposing to increase the electricity supply precisely for mining uses," Castelo said.

The aim is to reduce the country's reliance on diesel imports, since oil-producing Ecuador does not have refining capacity, he added.

Chinese company Sinohydro has signed a contract with President Rafael Correa to build a $2 billion hydroelectric project along the Amazon river, which will be the country's largest with a capacity of 1,500 MW.

The project will be 85-percent financed by a Chinese bank and the government will provide the other 15 percent for construction to be completed by 2015.

Ecuador is seeking investors for other big dam projects but says companies must come with their own financing

HydroVision International 2014 Keynote Speakers

Presenting the HydroVision International 2014 Keynote Speakers

Check out a slideshow covering the keynote speakers at the HydroVision International 2014 conference and exhibition

Click Here >>

Hydro Industry Financials

Most Read Articles

Recent Comments

Buyers Guide Companies

Synergy Holdings Inc

Renewable energy for residential, commercial, m...

WorleyParsons – Brasil

Zollern Transmissões Mecânicas Ltda

Manufacturers of plain bearings, hydro power be...

Potencia Industrial SA

Manufactures hydroelectricelectric generators r...

Rubberart Artefatos de Borracha Ltda

Specializes in rubber seals for power generatio...

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours
To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

06/01/2014
Volume 33, Issue 5
file
07/01/2014
Volume 22, Issue 4
file

Archived Articles

2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Hydro Review Past Issues