Candidates in the presidential race contemplate the future of solar energy in the country
During the Environmental Forum at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, Sergio Fajardo, Humberto de La Calle, Ivan Duque, and Gustavo Petro - former Defense Ministry Martha Lucia Ramirez and former Vice President Germán Vargas Lleras cancelled their attendance to the event- explained their political plans and approaches to various problems, including the use of solar energy.
They are aware of the geographical advantage that Colombia has when it come to solar energy and its uses. Due to the location of the nation, solar radiation is stronger at the equator giving the opportunity to the South American country of being an efficient producer of solar energy.
Currently, Colombia produces 70% of its electricity from hydroelectric sources. However, Petro, Fajardo, and De La Calle think that this source, despite being known as a source of clean energy, can cause several damages to the environment and to some human settlements due to floods.
Also, the 4 candidates know that the country’s dependence on hydroelectric plants can put at risk the electrical security of the country during droughts causing power rationing.
For this reason, they are planning to reduce the dependency on this source. Petro and Fajardo proposed the implementation of new hydroelectric plants, which would be much smaller than the current one, while compensating with solar and wind energy.
Although Duque, Fajardo, Petro, and De La Calle share similar views when it comes to solar energy, the leftist candidate, Gustavo Petro, is well known for his environmental friendly ideology.
Petro considered that solar energy has to be implemented from now on out; not only in companies but also in homes. He also hopes said change can benefit the electric car market.
The implementation of the electric car
The candidates also shared the necessity to sponsor the implementation of electric cars in the country. They hope that with an increase in the solar energy produced within each house, it can facilitate the purchase of electric cars.
The business of coal and oil
Now days, Colombia is the 5th coal exporter in the world; its oil royalties are an important item of the country’s budget. All of the candidates planned to reduce the dependence on these commodities, but they differ on the times of implementation.
Duque doesn't want to eliminate the country’s dependence on oil and coal due to its importance to the economy. On the other side of the spectrum, Petro plans to change all of the economy in the next 4 years, foreseeing the global change in the electrical sources by 2025.
The presidential race
In most polls, Sergio Fajardo and Gustavo Petro area leading the voting intention. In the last poll of Datexco, the former Governor of Antioquia possessed 16.6%, then the blank vote had 16.3%, Petro with 14.2%, Martha Lucía Ramirez 6.9%, Ivan Duque 6.8%, Vargas Lleras with 6.6%, and Humberto de la Calle 6.3%. However, the elections will be held on May 27th, after Congress elections in March, so political preferences and alliances can change from now.
Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto