Microgrid Energy Assessment in Guatemala

January 24, 2018 - January 28, 2018
The CLDP delegation visiting the Xacbal hydroelectric power plant in Quiche, Guatemala

From January 25-28, CLDP conducted a microgrid energy assessment in Guatemala City and Quiché, Guatemala. While in Guatemala City, CLDP met with key energy stakeholders including distribution and transmission companies, the Association of Renewable Energy Generators, and a private company providing solar energy kits for single homes as well as isolated systems for larger consumers. In these meetings, CLDP sought to gauge interest from the private sector in microgrids as well as analyze the barriers to catalyzing private financing into this sector. For this project, CLDP will provide technical assistance on developing legal and regulatory frameworks to incentivize the use of microgrids to the governments of both Guatemala and Honduras.  

Guatemala, in contrast to Honduras, presents a mature energy market. Guatemala’s energy generation exceeds demand, and approximately 60% of generation comes from renewable sources. On Feb. 27-28, the CLDP delegation traveled outside of Guatemala City to visit the Xacbal hydroelectric power plant, one of the largest in Guatemala. Despite an installed capacity of 94MW, however, many of the rural communities surrounding the dam have no access to the energy generated there. In fact, around 10% of homes in Guatemala are not connected to the national grid.

Electricity access and reliability of electricity supply are key components of economic growth both in rural communities and for industries. CLDP met with rural community leaders frustrated by limited access to electricity, as well as businesses looking for more reliable energy in order to increase production. Microgrids may offer solutions to both groups. CLDP’s technical assistance program will help stakeholders develop model contracts, tender procedures, financial models, and other commercial tools needed to attract private investment into the market for microgrids. U.S. companies in particular are interested in accessing the Central American market provided a clear and transparent regulatory environment. During this first assessment, CLDP gained an understanding of the Guatemalan energy market, including the challenges it faces in rural electrification and the barriers to economic growth posed by unreliable access to electricity. Additional consultations are planned for April 2018 in order to identify areas where CLDP technical assistance can have the greatest impact.

Funding from this project comes from the Department of State as part of the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, a bipartisan, multi-year U.S. government plan promoting institutional reforms and addressing developmental challenges in the region. This project is one of three that CLDP is implementing in the region in support of the Strategy’s aim to protect American citizens by addressing the security, governance, and economic drivers of illegal immigration and illicit trafficking, while increasing opportunities for U.S. and other businesses.

A live map of Guatemala's transmission lines in the offices of Trecsa, a transmission company operating in Guatemala
CLDP meeting with rural community leaders affected by poor access to electricity in Quiche, Guatemala

Upcoming Programs

August 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021

Throughout the quarter, CLDP engaged with numerous experts to prepare and record eight separate sessions on trade topics, specifically designed for Afghanistan’s approximately 25 Commercial Attachés posted throughout the world. In May 2018, CLDP spent one week training the same group of Attachés in a comprehensive course designed for them prior to their departure. This updated training course is intended to provide more advanced training on relevant topics now that the Attachés have been serving in their posts for more than two years.  The topics for these presentations were identified based on consultations with the Attachés and relevant stakeholders in the last quarter. Topics include drafting international contracts, attracting foreign direct investment, negotiation strategies, and two sessions on working trade shows. The series of pre-recorded virtual presentations, including translated copies of the presentations, will be delivered on a rolling basis to the Attachés. In addition, future topics will be recorded and shared with the participants. These virtual recordings will be saved in an online repository, which will be available for any interested party to view, including the private sector. 

March 15, 2021 - May 24, 2021

CLDP in close collaboration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trained Bahrain Innovation and Technology Center (BITC) staff regarding filing patents in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council).  This program was part of a CLDP/USPTO collaboration to conduct over 40 hours of intellectual property training for the BITC.  The program included training on how to obtain patents and copyrights in the US as well as other jurisdictions.  

CLDP in Action

February 24, 2021 - February 25, 2021

On February 24-25, CLDP conducted a workshop on FIDIC contracts for a delegation of Sri Lankan officials from the Attorney General’s office.

Read More about Sri Lanka: FIDIC Contracts Workshop