The Nicaraguan government sees geothermal as a key element of its energy plans, expecting that developing only half of the country’s geothermal potential could provide all the power needed to the nation.
A recent article in National Geographics gave a great overview on how Nicaragua views geothermal as a tool for energy independence.
The volcanic regions of Nicaragua’s west coast provide a great geothermal energy resource, already being harvested for power generation.
In the past there was only one Canadian firm, called Polaris Geothermal (now part of Ram Power Corp.) that has worked on the San Jacinto concession and was granted a concession to to extend the San Jacinto plant in 2009. Magma Energy Corp (now Alterra Power), also Canadian, also received a concession called Santa Clara in 2009.
For the Sandinista government in power, the renewable energy market is seen as an important tool and President Daniel Ortega’s administration has made it a priority. It is expected that more than 50% of its power supply will be derived from renewables by 2013.
Iceland, so the article, has been a major influence on this path with a look at geothermal energy.
Current and short-term expected capacity only represents a fraction of an expected overall resource potential of up to 1,200 MW of installed geothermal power generation capacity. Only half of it – so National Geographic – could cover all of Nicaragua’s electricity demand.