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Nicaragua to develop geothermal energy potential, improve power transmission system with IDB support

Nicaragua will enhance its renewable energy generation capacity and improve its power transmission system under a $103.4 million project with financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

In 2015, 50.6 percent of the country’s energy generation came from renewable sources, of which 30% was geothermal. Nicaragua’s estimated geothermal potential is 1,500 MW, of which only 10 percent have been developed. Meanwhile, energy demand has been on the rise in recent years, growing 2.6 percent in 2014 and 4.6 percent in 2015.

The project will support site investigation to help determine the technical viability of exploiting the geothermal potential of the Cosigüina field in northwestern Nicaragua, including activities such as commercial-width well exploration. It will also develop mechanisms to attract private investment in order to help stimulate the country’s geothermal generation.

Planned construction of transmission infrastructure and of electrical substations will help improve energy service delivery, meet current and future demand in a reliable fashion, and complete Nicaragua’s adjustment to the regional energy transmission system SIEPAC.

The program’s total cost is $103.4 million, of which $51.4 million come from an IDB loan; $25 million from the Korea Infrastructure Development Co-financing Facility in Latin America and the Caribbean, managed by the IDB; $17 million are grants from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP); and $10 million are local counterpart funds.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.