Based upon current trends for 2013, the portion of Nicaragua’s electric generation derived from renewable sources will be on the order of 51% this year, up from 27% in 2006. Over the last six years the oil dependent nation has made great strides and set out further goals in its National Development Plan to produce 74% of its electric demand from renewable sources by 2018. However, at the same time continued reliance on oil imports for roughly 49% of electric generation has meant that Nicaraguans pay some of the highest costs for electricity in the region and forces roughly 80% of households to rely on electricity subsidies, similar to many of its neighbors in Central America. Rising demand in both residential and commercial sectors is putting pressure on the government to find the right balance to match energy supply and demand. Nicaragua has also kicked off an exploratory campaign in the nation’s waters to determine its potential domestic oil and gas reserves.
The objective of this one-day roundtable is to foster high-level dialogue between the government, private sector and civil society pertaining to the nation’s energy outlook and opportunities and challenges for reducing Nicaragua’s oil imports, increasing deployment of renewable energy and fostering economic development.