Although mired in significant delays compared to other Latin American countries, Paraguay is now preparing to issue its first legislation to support solar and wind power.
Paraguay will issue its first renewable energy law in the upcoming months, most likely before the end of 2017. This was stated by Lourdes Aquino Perinetto from local law firm GHP Guanes, Heisecke & Piera in an interview with pv magazine.
According to Perinetto, the new law has already been approved by the upper chamber and is now being reviewed by the Senate. The main reason for the country’s delay in developing solar and wind power, she explained, is the monopoly of the local utility ANDE in the energy market. The new law, however, will compel the ANDE to buy at least 5% of its power from renewable energy other than hydropower, which currently has the largest share in Paraguay’s energy mix.
Although the 5% quota is probably not ambitious enough, Aquino Perinetto added, the introduction of the new law will create the conditions for the first development of solar and wind, and these inaugural investments will probably lead to new rules that will shape the market favorably.
The law, which will need a secondary legislation after it is introduced, will initially encourage investments in distributed generation and off-grid projects in isolated areas. Large-scale solar will be probably receive no support in the first stages of the country’s renewable energy development, which is expected to be regulated through an auction mechanism managed by the ANDE.
Paraguay has so far had very limited development of solar energy, with only a few projects with capacities in the hundreds of kW announced over the past few years. According to Perinetto, currently there are no statistics available for wind and solar installed capacity in the country. The Ministry of Energy and Mining has recently created a database, the Sistema de Información Energética Nacional (SIEN), but it still does not cover all the country’s region.