Country Manager, Enercon
General Manager, ABO Wind Renovables Colombia
Many actors in Colombia, including the government, are working on moving unconventional renewable energy forward, and many are hopeful the regulation will evolve to accelerate the development of the industry.
How can a Colombian developer benefit from partnering with Enercon?
FARID MOHAMADI Enercon could bring value in terms of technical know-how and support based on its experience in end-to-end processes when it comes to realizing wind energy projects. This starts from the planning up to the operation, including the financing and the monitoring during construction. This is crucial, especially in markets where there are not many installations yet. It is important to have companies that are experienced, can bring proven technology to the country, and share their expertise not only in terms of structuring the project, but also innovation for better efficiency, making the project competitive enough to win auctions, and so on. Enercon wants to go beyond being a vendor and become a consultant to developers, even though its focus is to manufacture and supply turbines. We have seen a need from developers, even from the large utilities in Colombia, for advice to share experiences and knowledge.
What is ABO Wind’s strategy in the country?
CHRISTIAN LLULL ABO Wind was established in Germany and has been working with renewable energies for 25 years. We entered the Colombian market three years ago to contribute with our track record and experience in an emerging market. In 2017, the market was fairly new, and we intended to become a major player in the renewable energy sector in Colombia. Currently, we are focusing on the photovoltaic market. It makes sense to diversify Colombia’s energy matrix currently based on hydropower to anticipate climate change and ensure a reliable electricity supply. Colombia has plenty of natural resources, both solar irradiation as well as wind, and it makes sense to make use of them. We have a long-term approach to the market, and we are currently developing a pipeline of projects with a total capacity of 90MW in various sizes and locations. Our expertise and activities cover the whole value chain of the renewable projects.
What does Enercon focus on to deliver value to clients?
FM Enercon focuses on being a reliable company on project execution. It is not enough to execute flawless projects without issues; you also have to be competitive by bringing to the market new products that are effective at the best price. For us, it is important that clients have a product that lasts over time. We also go beyond, because we believe we have a responsibility to society, and therefore we carefully choose our products to ensure they are sustainable. We look at our carbon footprints, and we also care for the entire lifecycle of the project. We have been in Colombia for four years now, and in that time, we have been spending resources and time to perfectly understand the market in terms of the technical and environmental aspects of the infrastructure. There are many challenges, and in order to overcome them, you have to work much more closely with your partner, be they a provider or customer, if you want to realize a project. We are open to partnering with all companies within the chain, though there may be smaller developers or IPPs that might find more value in partnering with us. Having said that, we have agreements with utilities as well.
How is ABO Wind assisting Colombia in becoming a pioneer in green energy on a regional level?
CL We have been through the development, financing, construction and operation of projects in various markets, and that is the experience ABO Wind wants to bring to the country. Colombia is on target to become a leader in the region. It is working on diversifying the matrix. That should be the main motivation and driver: moving from a conventional renewable base to the unconventional. It is a synergy, not a competition. The technology is available, and Colombia has to figure out the best balance between all the available technologies. In our experience, the government has identified the main barriers and is working on them. It will take more time to outline a proper regulatory framework to make sure projects are completed. Wind power is more or less concentrated in La Guajira because the region has the highest wind speeds; however, it is a fairly challenging area for different reasons. You have to apply the right technology in the right place. There are areas with high irrigation that are better suited for PV technology. Wind energy requires structures that are hard to transport to certain parts of Colombia, so that type of production will likely stay in a few areas of the country.
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