IRENA & Central American countries join forces to integrate renewable energy into regional power systems

Technical workshops help Central America meet fast-growing power needs with renewable energy

A one-week series of workshops designed to support the deployment of renewable energy in Central America will conclude tomorrow in Panama City. Led by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this first-of-its-kind effort convened key energy stakeholders to tackle the challenge of integrating more renewable energy into regional power systems. Participants included Central American Integration System Member States, regional and national electric utilities, distributors, operators, regulatory authorities, and other power system players.

The week began with a two-day workshop focused on the challenges and opportunities Panama faces in scaling up its renewable energy capacity. Participants assessed the impact of integrating larger shares of renewables into national electricity systems and the regional interconnection infrastructure. The week concluded with a three-day workshop focused on national and regional strategies to advance the deployment of renewables in electricity systems. Participants discussed the policy, regulatory framework and technical challenges ahead in integrating higher shares of variable renewable energy into the energy system.

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Speaking at the workshop, Panama Secretary of Energy, Ing. Víctor Carlos Urrutia Guardia said, “The Renewables Readiness Assessment for Panama and the Clean Energy Corridor of Central America come at a very important juncture in the region. Concrete results are expected under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the energy sector will be key to achieving those goals. IRENA is helping the region identify new innovative solutions to incorporate more renewables and improve grid interconnection.”

The workships were held in partnership with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Carribean (ECLAC), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit and the Panama National Energy Secretariat, and the Panamanian Government. The event was implementated as part of the Clean Energy Corridor of Central America (CECCA).

“IRENA looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the region, and Panama as a pilot country, to achieve the Central American Sustainable Energy Strategy 2020 and to accelerate its transition to a sustainable energy future,” said Mr. Amin: “In the process, the region can improve its energy security, create jobs, boost economic growth and improve public health.”

Source: IRENA