Bolivia creates new Ministry of Energy to lead renewables transition

Bolivia reorganized its Energy division last week, creating a new Ministry of Energy, with Rafael Alarcón to head the agency as Energy Minister.

The Minister of Hydrocarbons, Luis Alberto Sánchez, officially transferred the functions for the electricity sector of the country to the new Energy Minister, saying, “The new Minister Alarcón will have to continue our efforts in pushing ahead with renewable energy, to make the transition from gas fueled power generation to renewable energies.” The Ministry of Hydrocarbons will now only focus on exploitation, export, trade, storage, and gas and oil transportation, while the newly formed Ministry of Energy will focus on electricity and alternative energy, as well as exploring Lithium as an energy source.

Planned power projects in Bolivia will require an investment of up to $30 billion until 2025, to grow its electricity capacity to 15,000 MW and turn Bolivia into the energy heart of South America.

The deputy minister of Electricity and Alternative Energies, Joaquín Rodríguez, reported that there are 34 electricity generation projects scheduled for the next ten years. Among the renewable energy projects are biomass, solar, and the geothermal project at Laguna Colorada, near the border of Chile.

It is expected that an open call to further evaluate the water supply capacity for the 100 MW Laguna Colorada geothermal project will be scheduled for this year. No further details are available at this point.

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