Colombia is facing a concerning situation as its reservoirs have decreased in January, leading to worries about energy generation. The El Niño phenomenon has caused devastating effects in the country, including forest fires, damage to crops, and the death of hundreds of cattle. Additionally, there has been a significant decrease in the rainfall level in the energy-generating reservoirs, which could result in increased energy rates and potential blackouts in the coming months.
The national government, through the Minister of Mines and Energy, Andrés Camacho, has assured the public that there is no risk of blackouts, as the reservoirs are capable of guaranteeing the energy supply. According to the Operator of the National Interconnected System, the reservoirs are currently at a level above the required amount to ensure supply, providing some relief amidst the concerns.
Natalia Gutiérrez, the president of the Association of Electric Power Generators (Acolgen), also provided reassurance, stating that the energy sector has been prepared to meet the demand, even during extreme climatic events. She emphasized that Colombia has not experienced any blackouts in the last 30 years, despite several occurrences of the El Niño phenomenon.
However, Gutiérrez also highlighted the importance of prudent management of the supply from the reservoirs and the need for thermal generation to operate at full capacity to avoid potential blackouts. Thermal generation, produced by coal and gas thermal plants, is crucial in ensuring a stable energy supply in Colombia, especially when the hydraulic system is operating at a lower capacity.
While the country typically relies on the hydraulic system to meet 85% to 95% of its energy demand, the current situation has led to an increased reliance on the thermal system, which comes with higher generation costs. This could potentially impact energy rates for consumers in the future.
In conclusion, Colombia is facing challenges in energy generation due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon. While the government and energy sector have taken measures to ensure a stable energy supply, it is important to continue monitoring the situation and implementing prudent management practices to avoid potential blackouts and mitigate the impact on energy rates for consumers.
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