Panama 2017 | ENERGY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Miguel Bolinaga, President, AES Panama, on the sector.

Miguel Bolinaga

The electricity sector in Panama was characterized by low prices in 2016. Why was this so?

The energy matrix in Panama has been evolving and moving from two main kinds of energy—fossil fuels and hydropower—to another kind of fuel, namely solar and wind energy, which are playing an important role in the energy matrix in Panama. Last year, together, they generated about 200MW every day, accounting for 18% of the total energy produced within the country. 2016 was a typical year for the electricity sector in Panama. The future energy matrix in Panama is not yet mature because electricity in Panama still depends on oil, fossil fuels, and hydropower.

What will be the impact of the new plant on the national energy matrix?

We are in an important position to increase the competitiveness of the country as an energy hub within the region. The impact will be massive because there are new plans with this plant in the bunkering sector. Before, the entire region was talking about a transmission line between Panama and Colombia. This new power plant will allow Panama to play an important role in the development of the energy sector, not only on a national scale but regionally as well.