The National Government presented on January 6 the National Development Plan (PND), under which his government will be governed and that will allow him to move forward with some of his campaign proposals. However, some of the articles have generated controversy and in some cases it is considered that there were relevant topics that were not included.
In the case of the electricity sector, doubts have been raised regarding the articles, which include a series of aspects that may affect the development of projects, incentives for the construction of non-conventional renewable energies, among others.. Likewise, experts consider that there are fundamental issues that were not included.
In general terms, the energy unions ensure that one of the points that could generate the most negative effects is the one indicated in article 188. In this, the Government proposes that non-conventional renewable generation plants (solar and wind) with a capacity installed capacity of more than 10 gigawatts pay 6% of gross energy sales. Before, these companies paid 1% of sales, as an incentive for the development of these technologies.
The article states that this will apply exclusively to plants located in areas with higher solar radiation and better wind regime.
Alejandro Lucio, president of the board of directors of SER Colombia, explained that in this way these energies remain at the same level of transfers as others such as thermal or hydraulic. However, he indicated that these energies are not so profitable, so an increase of 5 percentage points in transfers could affect between 2% and 3% the final profits of the companies.
In this regard, Natalia Gutiérrez, president of Acolgen, explained that this is a measure that could jeopardize the economic viability of the projects. Additionally, she pointed out that there is no gradual scheme.
Precisely for this reason, Lucio adds that it is likely that the profitability and financial closure of some projects is at risk.
“Despite the fact that within the policies that this Government has proposed for the acceleration of renewable energies in the National Development Plan there are things that do not align very well with those ideas”asserted the president of the board of directors.
However, there is another point that they highlighted as problematic and it is article 197, which proposes a vertical integration between all the actors in the chain. This means that the generation, commercialization and distribution companies can be merged with the transmission. This can jeopardize the stability of service provision, according to Alejandro Castañeda, president of Andeg.
According to the leader, this can lead to the creation of a monopoly, since a single player could generate conflicts of interest and negative effects on the market.
“Globally, generation and transmission are separated to control the exercise of an integrated market power of agents. When a transmitter becomes a generator, we see that there may be a conflict of interest between other generators that do not have transmission.”Gutierrez noted.
According to Lucio, the objective is for Ecopetrol to become a generator, since currently, because it owns ISA, it is prevented from selling energy to the system.
In addition to these sources of concern among experts, there are other points that also raise doubts because they do not appear in the articles of the PND.
One of these is pointed out by the president of Acolgen, Natalia Gutiérrez, who affirms that no alternative to the plan is included so that the marketing companies can access the 10% of energy from non-conventional renewable sources (Fncer) as established by resolution 40715 of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
He affirms that they made this proposal so that it would be included, so that marketers would buy between 8% and 10% from renewable sources, resorting to any market mechanism.
Precisely in this regard, Lucio affirms that the Bill does not contemplate any incentive for non-conventional renewable generators, whose investment costs, as well as the cost of generation, is higher than that of other technologies.
This, he points out, goes against the proposals to accelerate the energy transition. He explains that for the transition to take place, legal, political and regulatory signals must be given that allow investment by companies.
However, Castañeda points out that a fund was proposed for losses that would make it possible to equalize the rates of the coast and the center of the country. It should be remembered that due to the concept of (regional) losses, this area pays more. Thus, adds the leader, the user fee in this area of the country could be reduced between 20% and 25%.
One of the keys of the National Development Plan is that of the Energy Communities.
This is how article 190 of the document estimates it, which additionally proposes that in the case of natural persons and indigenous, Afro-Colombian, Raizal and Palenquera communities that are constituted as an energy community, they can access resources that allow them to finance the investment to advance with these Projects.
Also points out that “The infrastructure that is developed with public resources may be assigned free of charge to the Energy Communities”. These will be monitored by the Superintendency of Public Services and regulated by the Energy and Gas Regulation Commission (Creg).
DANIELA MORALES SOLER