systemarchi
© 2009 - 2018 Systemarchitects Partnership

Renewable Energies in Bolivia

Identifying hot spots for implementation of Renewable Energies

in Bolivia. (2014)

Multiple-criteria selection of major urban centres for the design of Model Cities. Comparison of size: Bolivia and  Central Europe displayed at the same scale

Purpose of this study

This study is basically a metadata analysis about the potentials of renewable energies (RE) in Bolivia. The purpose of the study is to identify first the prime areas for the generation of RE (here solar, hydropower, wind power and biomass) in the country and second to merge this information into a single combined model. This model shall help planners to identify where in the country it could be most viable to generate and apply RE using diverse sources and thus increasing the success chances and financial viability of its implementation.

Key background elements

Challenges Renewable Energy (RE) technologies are becoming increasingly efficient and viable; it is an ideal moment for public investment on RE generation. RE are an ideal instrument to replace hydrocarbon based resources and thus reduce unrecoverable subvention expenses. Isolated communities have a low demand of electricity but are well organized. They can be supplied with RE based systems, according to the opportunities existing on site or in their region. Opportunities Increasing domestic demand for primary energies, due to a growing industry sector, agricultural production and a continuing growing middle class in Bolivia. Thus, increasing carbon emissions and a carbon lock-in effect supported by hydrocarbon subventions. The World Energy Council warned in its last "World Energy Issues Monitor 2014" that hydrocarbon subventions do not reach the poorest social classes, and are therefore are not an efficacious instrument for poverty alleviation It has been impossible so far to turn down subvention policies in Bolivia Because of the large surface of the country, isolated communities depend on isolated electricity networks, which are supplied with low efficiency generators (mostly Diesel run). A connection to the national interconnected system SIN is seen as not viable.

Solar Energy potential in

Bolivia

The Altiplano (Bolivian Highlands) and the inter-Andean valleys get a high rate of Sun Energy, at an average of 5-6 kWh/m²day, depending on the season. In the lowlands (Amazon, La Plata basin) the rate is around 4,5 kWh/m²day, which is enough to generate 220 Wh/day using a PV panel of 50 Wp. In Bolivia there is a low difference in radiation between seasons (25%), because of its southern inter-tropical latitude. The whole national territory is considered suitable for sun energy use. Areas with a heavy cloud formation (<3% territory) provide around 4 KWh/m²day in yearly average. As a comparison, in Central Europe the average sun radiation is 1,2 kWh/m²day. With current technologies this rate is considered sufficient for a financially viable implementation of photovoltaic panels, even with no subvention support. Currently, the government of Oruro is implementing the first large array for photovoltaic generation, with a peak capacity of 20 MW. (Map Solar Energy Potentials) Challenges Foreign market opportunities for the Bolivian natural gas are opening up, however due to a lacking investment the national production is dropping and the supply for the domestic market in the middle term is now compromised. The electric energy production margin between capacity and demand has dropped to critical levels, which already has exposed the interconnected electricity system to serious hazards. Opportunities The rise of International commodity prices and the appearance of new markets contribute to increasing revenue through net exports. This trade surplus should enable investment on innovation. Conventional thermal electricity generation in Bolivia reaches 65%. The potential for RE generation in Bolivia is massive; a diversified implementation is very suitable, which increases its effectiveness.

Wind Energy potential in

Bolivia

Areas with eolic potential There are too few studies which identify sites with wind energy potential in Bolivia. The two major surveys delivered slightly different results, but basically confirm hotspots. For profitability, a potential of 50W/m² has been estimated. The zone of the Bolivian Highlands offer hotspots with an average of 154 w/m². The region west of Santa Cruz has hotspots with 232 w/m² (avg.) measured. The region of Chapare 350 W/m² (avg.) A challenge for the generation of electricity with wind turbines in high altitude is the low air density, which demands locally adapted devices. The Electric Generation Company Corani SA has implemented the first wind energy park west of Chapare (Qollpana), with a nominal total capacity of 3 MW. The national government projects to expand the park to a total capacity of 24 MW shortly. (Map Eolic Potential) Challenges The national construction industry is experiencing an explosive, albeit unsustainable growth of urban conglomerations and subsequent demand for services. With no support measures implemented, drawbacks in the energy supply are resulting, which will be followed by other urban management challenges (waste, emissions, traffic, public services). Severe poverty affects not only the rural population but also the peri-urban areas. There is a lack of legal instruments and incentives to support public and private investment on RE and on optimisation of energy use. Opportunities Primitive technologies with low performance and low productivity are widely used in Bolivia (technical and design faults). There is a big opportunity to implement small changes to achieve efficiency improvement in generation, delivery and consume of energies in all sectors. Poverty alleviation in urban infrastructure can be combined with energy efficiency and training, combining appropriate norms and providing necessary staff for the new economy to move on.

Hydroenergy Potential

Currently the hydroenergy generation in Bolivia reaches 460MW, which represents 33% of the domestic demand (Source: World Energy Council, 2013). The estimated potential is 39800 MW (Currently only 1,6% of the existing potential is used).   In the early 1990s the national electricity company ENDE identified 81 potential sites which could generate 10MW or more. Since then little further action has been undertaken. (Map Hydro Energy Bolivia)

Long Term Vision

Implementing RE in middle size cities with the aim to turn them into model cities with locally adapted strategies. Qualified interdisciplinary teams would advise local planning authorities of selected cities on the design of integral projects. A specially developed fund based on national and local resources, inspired on the UN Clean Development Mechanism can be applied. Model cities can be eventually implemented on other issues beyond generation and efficiency of renewable energies, such as sustainable waste management, public participation in urban management, organic farming, traffic and mobility, technological innovation, etc. Challenges In the first decade of the new millennium the energy production in Bolivia has grown by factor 3. Natural Gas generation grew 291% between 2000 and 2010, but Hydroenergy grew only 13%. There is a lack of available local technologies and market options for the investment and use of hydroelectric and biomass energy Opportunities The introduction of efficient technologies and training shall allow the development of customized solutions and nation-wide implementation . With a more flexible legislation it will be possible to support private investment on the generation of micro hydroelectric plants. The geographic features as well allow the use of water reservoirs for pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

Biomass Energy potential in Bolivia

The biomass energy potential is located in areas with highest agriculture and forestry productivity. The highest concentration are the valleys in Cochabamba. Paradoxically, most of these areas are not connected to the national grid. Electricity is generated here with inefficient Diesel generators. Lacking legislation and knowledge on technical conditions make it difficult to implement and control the use of biomass for energy generation. So far nutshells and sugarcane bagasse are sporadically used as energy sources by two companies in the lowlands. Otherwise, the use of biomass is limited to the use of firewood for cooking by rural families, with negative effects for health and environment.

Combined Model

Ideal sites for diversified RE generation Survey of potential RE generation sites This model displays the result of collating all potential sites for RE generation into a single map (hydroenergy, biomass, eolic, solar) at national scale. Each pixel represents 10km². As a next step, potential are analysed again at higher resolution. The model considers as well relevant data such as the existing interconnected high voltage network, thermoelectric generation plants, sites with severe weather conditions, natural gas ducts and polyducts, existing oil refineries, ecological reserves, national parks, main access roads, main cities (10thousand inhabitants and more) and regions with high density of inhabitants (energy market). Social economic data was as well included and considers poverty incidence, HDI, and provision of basic services.

Planning issues that this model contributes to deliver & expected

impacts in the middle and long term

Local development and production of RE related technologies and supplies at industrial scale, following continuously the improvement of energy generation and use; Creation of a new local economy based on RE, which generates jobs and know-how in all expertise levels and generates tax revenues, contributing to the social system; The national government expects to turn the country into an energy generation hub in the region, as producer and referent; Sustained reduction of carbon emissions in rural and urban areas, in all economic sectors; Introducing successfully the carbon neutrality concept in the design of sustainable urban solutions; Regulation based design and implementation of infrastructure: using efficient solutions, passive design qualities, adapted to climate and topography of the different regions in Bolivia, especially in public and residential buildings. The current industrialization process in the country demands energy efficiency technologies, such as combined heating and power generation (CHP), district heating and cooling, as well as better use of local climate and geography to reduce carbon emissions, use of biomass for energy generation, etc.
RESEARCH FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
© 2006 - 2015 Systemarchi

Renewable Energies

in Bolivia

Identifying hot spots for

implementation of

Renewable Energies in

Bolivia. (2014)

Multiple-criteria selection of major urban centres for the design of Model Cities. Comparison of size: Bolivia and  Central Europe displayed at the same scale

Purpose of this study

This study is basically a metadata analysis about the potentials of renewable energies (RE) in Bolivia. The purpose of the study is to identify first the prime areas for the generation of RE (here solar, hydropower, wind power and biomass) in the country and second to merge this information into a single combined model. This model shall help planners to identify where in the country it could be most viable to generate and apply RE using diverse sources and thus increasing the success chances and financial viability of its implementation.

Key background elements

Challenges Renewable Energy (RE) technologies are becoming increasingly efficient and viable; it is an ideal moment for public investment on RE generation. RE are an ideal instrument to replace hydrocarbon based resources and thus reduce unrecoverable subvention expenses. Isolated communities have a low demand of electricity but are well organized. They can be supplied with RE based systems, according to the opportunities existing on site or in their region. Opportunities Increasing domestic demand for primary energies, due to a growing industry sector, agricultural production and a continuing growing middle class in Bolivia. Thus, increasing carbon emissions and a carbon lock-in effect supported by hydrocarbon subventions. The World Energy Council warned in its last "World Energy Issues Monitor 2014" that hydrocarbon subventions do not reach the poorest social classes, and are therefore are not an efficacious instrument for poverty alleviation It has been impossible so far to turn down subvention policies in Bolivia Because of the large surface of the country, isolated communities depend on isolated electricity networks, which are supplied with low efficiency generators (mostly Diesel run). A connection to the national interconnected system SIN is seen as not viable.

Solar Energy potential in

Bolivia

The Altiplano (Bolivian Highlands) and the inter-Andean valleys get a high rate of Sun Energy, at an average of 5-6 kWh/m²day, depending on the season. In the lowlands (Amazon, La Plata basin) the rate is around 4,5 kWh/m²day, which is enough to generate 220 Wh/day using a PV panel of 50 Wp. In Bolivia there is a low difference in radiation between seasons (25%), because of its southern inter-tropical latitude. The whole national territory is considered suitable for sun energy use. Areas with a heavy cloud formation (<3% territory) provide around 4 KWh/m²day in yearly average. As a comparison, in Central Europe the average sun radiation is 1,2 kWh/m²day. With current technologies this rate is considered sufficient for a financially viable implementation of photovoltaic panels, even with no subvention support. Currently, the government of Oruro is implementing the first large array for photovoltaic generation, with a peak capacity of 20 MW. (Map Solar Energy Potentials) Challenges Foreign market opportunities for the Bolivian natural gas are opening up, however due to a lacking investment the national production is dropping and the supply for the domestic market in the middle term is now compromised. The electric energy production margin between capacity and demand has dropped to critical levels, which already has exposed the interconnected electricity system to serious hazards. Opportunities The rise of International commodity prices and the appearance of new markets contribute to increasing revenue through net exports. This trade surplus should enable investment on innovation. Conventional thermal electricity generation in Bolivia reaches 65%. The potential for RE generation in Bolivia is massive; a diversified implementation is very suitable, which increases its effectiveness.

Wind Energy potential in

Bolivia

Areas with eolic potential There are too few studies which identify sites with wind energy potential in Bolivia. The two major surveys delivered slightly different results, but basically confirm hotspots. For profitability, a potential of 50W/m² has been estimated. The zone of the Bolivian Highlands offer hotspots with an average of 154 w/m². The region west of Santa Cruz has hotspots with 232 w/m² (avg.) measured. The region of Chapare 350 W/m² (avg.) A challenge for the generation of electricity with wind turbines in high altitude is the low air density, which demands locally adapted devices. The Electric Generation Company Corani SA has implemented the first wind energy park west of Chapare (Qollpana), with a nominal total capacity of 3 MW. The national government projects to expand the park to a total capacity of 24 MW shortly. (Map Eolic Potential) Challenges The national construction industry is experiencing an explosive, albeit unsustainable growth of urban conglomerations and subsequent demand for services. With no support measures implemented, drawbacks in the energy supply are resulting, which will be followed by other urban management challenges (waste, emissions, traffic, public services). Severe poverty affects not only the rural population but also the peri-urban areas. There is a lack of legal instruments and incentives to support public and private investment on RE and on optimisation of energy use. Opportunities Primitive technologies with low performance and low productivity are widely used in Bolivia (technical and design faults). There is a big opportunity to implement small changes to achieve efficiency improvement in generation, delivery and consume of energies in all sectors. Poverty alleviation in urban infrastructure can be combined with energy efficiency and training, combining appropriate norms and providing necessary staff for the new economy to move on.

Hydroenergy Potential

Currently the hydroenergy generation in Bolivia reaches 460MW, which represents 33% of the domestic demand (Source: World Energy Council, 2013). The estimated potential is 39800 MW (Currently only 1,6% of the existing potential is used).   In the early 1990s the national electricity company ENDE identified 81 potential sites which could generate 10MW or more. Since then little further action has been undertaken. (Map Hydro Energy Bolivia)

Long Term Vision

Implementing RE in middle size cities with the aim to turn them into model cities with locally adapted strategies. Qualified interdisciplinary teams would advise local planning authorities of selected cities on the design of integral projects. A specially developed fund based on national and local resources, inspired on the UN Clean Development Mechanism can be applied. Model cities can be eventually implemented on other issues beyond generation and efficiency of renewable energies, such as sustainable waste management, public participation in urban management, organic farming, traffic and mobility, technological innovation, etc. Challenges In the first decade of the new millennium the energy production in Bolivia has grown by factor 3. Natural Gas generation grew 291% between 2000 and 2010, but Hydroenergy grew only 13%. There is a lack of available local technologies and market options for the investment and use of hydroelectric and biomass energy Opportunities The introduction of efficient technologies and training shall allow the development of customized solutions and nation- wide implementation . With a more flexible legislation it will be possible to support private investment on the generation of micro hydroelectric plants. The geographic features as well allow the use of water reservoirs for pumped-storage hydroelectricity.

Biomass Energy potential in

Bolivia

The biomass energy potential is located in areas with highest agriculture and forestry productivity. The highest concentration are the valleys in Cochabamba. Paradoxically, most of these areas are not connected to the national grid. Electricity is generated here with inefficient Diesel generators. Lacking legislation and knowledge on technical conditions make it difficult to implement and control the use of biomass for energy generation. So far nutshells and sugarcane bagasse are sporadically used as energy sources by two companies in the lowlands. Otherwise, the use of biomass is limited to the use of firewood for cooking by rural families, with negative effects for health and environment.

Combined Model

Ideal sites for diversified RE generation Survey of potential RE generation sites This model displays the result of collating all potential sites for RE generation into a single map (hydroenergy, biomass, eolic, solar) at national scale. Each pixel represents 10km². As a next step, potential are analysed again at higher resolution. The model considers as well relevant data such as the existing interconnected high voltage network, thermoelectric generation plants, sites with severe weather conditions, natural gas ducts and polyducts, existing oil refineries, ecological reserves, national parks, main access roads, main cities (10thousand inhabitants and more) and regions with high density of inhabitants (energy market). Social economic data was as well included and considers poverty incidence, HDI, and provision of basic services.

Planning issues that this

model contributes to deliver

& expected impacts in the

middle and long term

Local development and production of RE related technologies and supplies at industrial scale, following continuously the improvement of energy generation and use; Creation of a new local economy based on RE, which generates jobs and know- how in all expertise levels and generates tax revenues, contributing to the social system; The national government expects to turn the country into an energy generation hub in the region, as producer and referent; Sustained reduction of carbon emissions in rural and urban areas, in all economic sectors; Introducing successfully the carbon neutrality concept in the design of sustainable urban solutions; Regulation based design and implementation of infrastructure: using efficient solutions, passive design qualities, adapted to climate and topography of the different regions in Bolivia, especially in public and residential buildings. The current industrialization process in the country demands energy efficiency technologies, such as combined heating and power generation (CHP), district heating and cooling, as well as better use of local climate and geography to reduce carbon emissions, use of biomass for energy generation, etc.
RESEARCH FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
Systemarchi