Workshop on Financing Geothermal Development in the Andes

22 – 23 September 2015 |Bogota, Colombia

Geothermal Energy Initiative in the Andes

IRENA, together with the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia (MINMINAS) and the Colombian Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME), have organised a workshop on financing geothermal development, with a focus on the Andean region.

Over 50 key stakeholders for the geothermal development in Latin America and international experts met in Bogota to discuss the main barriers that Andean countries face for financing geothermal projects and disseminate best practices and innovative models to finance operations including geothermal risk mitigation funds.

Participants of the workshop included officials from energy and environment ministries from the five focus countries (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) and four mentor countries (France, Iceland, Mexico and New Zealand), utilities (ISAGEN, ENDE, CELEC) energy regulators, local and regional financing institutions (Bancoldex, CAF, IaDB and KfW), insurers (Munich RE), private sector (ENEL Green Power) and development partners (JICA).

International and Andean country experts and practitioners gave presentations in the following three sessions over the two days:

  • Geothermal Development Trends in the Andean Region
  • Understanding the Key Challenges in Financing Geothermal Energy
  • Risk Mitigation Instruments to Boost Geothermal Investments


Presentations by session below:

Session 1: Geothermal Development Trends in the Andean Region

Geothermal energy is an abundant resource in the Andean region that has great potential to provide low-cost, low-environmental impact energy; though still largely untapped. This session provided an overview of the status, challenges and opportunities for geothermal development in the Andean region.

National approaches to address financing challenges in geothermal development

  • Bolivia, Mr. Marco Escobar, ENDE Corporación
  • Chile, Mr. Rubén Muñoz Bustos, Ministry of Energy
  • Colombia, Mr. Camilo Táutiva, Colombian Mining and Energy Planning Unit
  • Ecuador, Mr. Juan Carlos Jiménez, Ministerio de Electricidad y Energía Renovable and Mr. Freddy León Zavala, CELEC EP
  • Peru, Mr. Alcides Claros, Ministry of Energy and Mines

Session 2: Understanding the Key Challenges in Financing Geothermal Energy

Despite the low-cost of electricity generation, geothermal projects are not easy to finance and may require active engagement of both public and private sectors. Particularly, in emerging geothermal markets, the success of governments in creating the right investment environment is a key factor as attracting private capital to geothermal projects often presents greater challenges. This session presented successful business cases driven by public and private sectors as well as through public-private partnerships.

  • Overview of global geothermal market and investments, Ms. Marietta Sander, IGA

    Role of public finance

    • Costa Rica, Mr. Sergio Mata, Costa Rican Institute of Electricity
    • Kenya, Mr. Jectone Tocho Achieng, Geothermal Development Company

    Mobilizing the private sector

    Session 3: Risk Mitigation Instruments to Boost Geothermal Investments

    Policy uncertainty, a shortage of skilled professional, and perceived environmental issues and licensing are preventing a wider adoption of geothermal energy. Other challenges are the low awareness and limited information about geothermal technology, its options and advantages for geothermal energy (power and direct use).

    The main obstacle for geothermal power investment and development is the high upfront costs of surface geophysical studies and drilling to explore for geothermal resources and assess their magnitude. Various risk mitigation facilities and programmes aim to increase geothermal energy production by attracting public and private developers and mobilise finance for the construction of geothermal power plants. This session discussed different types of risks during the project development and presents modalities for risk mitigation instruments to address resource risk.

    More Information on the Geothermal in Andes Initative

    In 2013, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in cooperation with the Latin America Energy Organisation (OLADE) and the International Geothermal Association (IGA) launched the Geothermal in the Andes initiative that aims to support the geothermal development in the region, in light of the fact that the vast geothermal potential of the region remains largely untapped. The initiative targets support in three key areas:

    For more information about the event, please click here.

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