In an interview with pv magazine, the president of the Colombian solar energy association SER Colombia, Alejandro Lucio Chaustre, explains what expectations are being created by the upcoming auction for solar and renewables, announced by the Colombian Government at the beginning of November.
Mr. Chaustre, when will the auction for solar and wind, announced by the Colombian government, be held?
Chaustre: Almost certainly before the end of this year. And most likely, the rules of the auction will be established before the end of this government term, which will end in August. So far, however, only a few details are known.
Has SER Colombia an idea of how much renewable energy generation capacity may be allocated?
We believe that at least 1 GW of power will be contracted, but we do not exclude that the auction may assign a couple of GWs.
Will the auction be technologically neutral, or will there be specific quotas for solar and other renewables?
It will be technologically neutral, as requested by our association in negotiations with the government.
Is wind power currently competitive in Colombia?
Yes, it is very competitive, particularly in the north of the country, in the region of La Guajira.
What prices do you think will be paid in the auction for solar PV technology?
I do not believe that we will see prices similar to those of more mature Latin American solar markets, like those of Mexico and Chile. But I believe that levels similar to those of Argentina and Brazil can be reached. Let’s say we expect a final price between US$40 and $50 per MWh.
And what about project sizes?
I also think that we can see projects of around 100 MW, but I do not exclude that projects for smaller PV plants may also win. I repeat, we do not have many details and we are now making a very speculative reasoning.
Do you think there will be local content rules applied to the auction?
I exclude this. Currently, there is no renewable energy manufacturing industry in Colombia and to date, I have never heard of this possibility.
What would be the ideal duration for the contracts that will be awarded through the auction?
We have requested a term of at least 15 years, the period that I consider minimum for the investments to be profitable.