Energy transition in the DR is making great strides and making steady progress

The energy transition means moving from a system of electricity production based on the combustion of coal, petroleum derivatives and natural gas, the so-called fossil fuels, to another reality in which renewable and clean sources such as water, sun, wind, biomass and others predominate or have a greater participation.

In the Dominican Republic, the energy transition has had its greatest acceleration and impact during the present government, going from an electricity generation capacity with renewable sources of 555.5 MW in 2020 to 1,126.25 MW by the end of 2023. This represents a growth of more than 103% in three years.

Currently, more than 1,300 MW of photovoltaic projects are under construction in different regions of the country. It is worth noting that during the period between 09:00 AM to 1:00 PM the contribution of renewables to the system often exceeds 35% with -approximately- 890 MW.

This growing participation of clean energy sources is contributing to a reduction in the spot market price and a decrease in the consumption and import of fossil fuels, which translates into less pollution and a significant reduction of our foreign dependence on energy. These are positive consequences of the strategy followed by the government of President Luis Abinader regarding the determined impulse to the energy transition.

To achieve these purposes, President Abinader issued Decree 65-23 which modifies and updates the regulations for the application of the Renewable Energy Incentives Law, Law 57-07. This decree strengthens transparency in renewable energy contracting processes and eliminates elements of discretion and uncertainty.

The transparency and reduction of bureaucratic time by the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the National Energy Commission have been key to the turnaround of foreign and local investment in renewable projects to the level of a revolution. In 2023, for example, foreign direct investment in energy in the country led, together with tourism, the entire national economy, achieving a total of US$1,071 million.

According to the 2023 Climatescope Ranking of 2023, prepared by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which evaluates and ranks the most attractive markets for foreign investment in energy transition, the Dominican Republic has improved its position on the international scale since 2022, moving from 45th to 43rd out of 140 countries. In the context of emerging markets, it has moved up from 22nd to 20th place out of 110 nations, and in the Latin America and Caribbean region, it has advanced from 7th to 6th place. This evolution represents a qualitative leap in the social, political, economic and environmental spheres.

This achievement has been recognized by international organizations such as the Latin American Energy Organization (Olade) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena). In addition, the Dominican Republic hosted the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), playing a leading role among the main global energy players in the region.

By 2023, the World Economic Forum, which evaluates and compares the performance of countries in their transition to a sustainable energy system, placed the Dominican Republic in 88th position in the global ranking of countries analyzed -with a score of 50.7- thus occupying the best position in the last nine years.

The Ministry of Energy and Mines has made great efforts in the field of international cooperation to project a better image of the country and has coordinated collaboration in strategic energy areas. Last week, Minister Antonio Almonte was invited, along with other Caribbean energy ministers, to the headquarters of the European Union to explore new avenues of collaboration derived from initiatives of the entity, such as Global Gateway and the Euroclima program.

He also led the country’s incorporation into the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), which is a gateway to climate finance and global investment in clean energy led by the United Kingdom and Canada. We have also been selected as one of the four pilot countries for the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) project, which is a financial platform promoted by the United States, through the Department of State and in partnership with the Bezos and Rockefeller Foundations.

In conclusion, beyond some limited interpretations or those influenced by indicators and sub-indicators of some publications based on variables with little relation to the real dynamics of energy production and use, the truth is that the concrete results and the multiple acknowledgements of local and international actors show that the Dominican energy transition is advancing steadily and firmly.

The changes promoted by the government seek to ensure that the electricity system is more reliable, affordable and resilient, and this necessary horizon will be achievable thanks to the firm commitment to renewable energy penetration. The energy transition is a commitment to present and future generations, involves a sensitive modification of the economic model of development and influences, in country branding language, the vision that is held of our nation by supranational entities, governments and civil society of other States.


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Dominican Republic Live Editor

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