What stops the development of renewable energy?


Patria Reyes Rodriguez

Dominican Republic enjoys the privilege of having a tropical climate that allows the use of natural resources such as wind, sun and water for the production of renewable energy resources.

Although the state has defined public policy for incentive, some changes in the provisions and implementation of projects based on fossil fuels show some mixed signals that move to certain cuestionantes.
¿Qué frena el desarrollo de energía renovable?
Photo: Progress. A slow but unstoppable form steps forward the development of renewable energy in the Dominican Republic. This week will be inaugurated Larimar wind project.

Economist and director of the School of Economics at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), Antonio Ciriaco Cruz, answered questions posed by the newspaper Listin Diario in addressing some of the concerns about the reality of renewable energy in the country .

What obstacles remain in the development of renewable energies?
The development of renewable energy requires an economic effort and political will. I think the justifications to demand that effort and that will require state involvement beyond existing traditional incentives. First, it is important that an awareness is promoted at all levels of the idea of ​​”sustainability” and the promotion of a society and economy without “CO2” or “low carbon”.

The country has a huge potential in the field of renewable energy. On the one hand, solar energy resources are particularly large: the average global horizontal irradiance (GHI) (the measurement used to determine the potential for solar development photovoltaic [PV]) is in the range of 5 to 7 kWh per meter square per day (kWh / m2 / day) throughout the country.

Dominican Republic has enormous potential. Renewable energy now accounts for 15% of electricity generation, with hydropower (13.2%) and wind (1.7%) representing almost all renewable energy generation.

Also, 1-12 Law establishing the “National Development Strategy 2030” in the action line of the general objective 3.2 states: “an articulated, innovative and environmentally sustainable economy, with a production structure that generates growth high and sustained, with decent work, which is inserted competitively in the global economy “, which imposes the need to stimulate the use of renewable energies.

However, the main obstacle that exists with regard to the promotion, intensely, the use of renewable energy is limiting incentives for use.

Article 32 of Law 253-12 on “Strengthening tax collection capacity of State for Fiscal Sustainability and Sustainable Development” published as of November 13, 2012 in the Official Gazette No.10697, amended articles 10, 23 and 12 of Law 57- 07 incentive for Development of renewable energy and its Special Regimes, which eliminates and reduces some incentives for the promotion of renewable energies.

The amendment to the law reads as follows, namely: “exemptions from income tax under Articles 10 and 23 are deleted; It is reduced to forty (40%) credit provided for in Article 12 of the Law No.57-07, Incentive Renewable Energy and Special Regimes, dated May 7, 2007 “. These changes send a bad signal and they are incompatible with the approach outlined in the National Development Strategy.

Finally, a major constraint has been the inconvenience and delays in administrative procedures for energy projects that are major deterrents for the development of renewable energy. This situation causes significant risks and costs that discourage developers and investors to develop renewable energy projects.

¿Projects with high potential for development?
Among the projects are the following high possibility, namely the Guzmancitos projects, Larimar and Matafongo, Monte Plata. All are run by the private sector.

What should be the country’s renewable energy?
I think the country should have a “roadmap” on which to establish plans and projects that would facilitate moving from an expensive and environmentally unsustainable energy system to one that is cheap and environmentally sustainable. The country should make use intensively renewable natural resources owned and has comparative advantages due to its geographical position. It also should improve transmission networks for energy generated and distributed reach the largest number of consumers, so that more investment is needed throughout the country in this line. There is currently a relatively high percentage (36%) of technical losses, which makes unfeasible any energy system.

Where should we move forward and where?
I think the country should move to an energy system based on renewable energy (based on sun, wind, water, biomass, geothermal, etc.). This will bring significant economic and environmental benefits for the country. First, it replaces expensive energy sources such as oil, which will reduce the value and amount of imports of petroleum and derivatives; but also the country would be better placed to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


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