Gustavo Cazal, director of Alternative Energy of the Vice Ministry of Mines and Energy from Paraguay, presented the country’s 2040 Energy Policy at Global Symposium on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions, organized by Itaipu and UNDESA. This policy aims to guarantee energy security with criteria of self-sufficiency, efficiency, minimum cost, and socio-environmental responsibility.
Cazal said that efforts are being made in energy efficiency and outlined the planned actions in the short, medium, and long term in Paraguay. According to him, studies are also being developed on the use of green hydrogen and the transition towards sustainable mobility through biofuels such as ethanol and the use of electricity for transportation.
Cazal explained that, among the most important guidelines of the Energy Policy 2040, is the reduction of dependence on petroleum products which currently are 100% imported. “The great challenge we have in Paraguay is to diversify our energy matrix from the supply side and, on the demand side, to incorporate energy efficiency,” he said.
The head of Alternative Energy of the Vice Ministry of Mines and Energy said that the country faces the challenge of using biomass more efficiently and making it sustainable, since much of the industry in the country still depends on biomass that is not sustainable.
Regarding the use of water resources for energy generation, engineer Cazal, who is also coordinator of the National Energy Efficiency Committee, highlighted that steps have been taken to determine the hydroelectric potential of Paraguay’s inland rivers and that there are also binational projects such as Corpus (with Argentina) that are in the pipeline.
He specified that the internal rivers have possibilities, but there are some reasons that prevented the progress of the projects, such as thinking that the energy coming from Itaipu, Yacyretá and Acaray are inexhaustible and that the country’s electricity demand can be met by solely by these hydropower plants for many more decades. The other factor mentioned is the legal framework for legal certainty.
He added that for a few months the country has had a water crisis, which revealed a vulnerability of Paraguay by relying exclusively on the Paraná River for its electricity generation. He also mentioned a study that is being carried out on electrical integration in the Southern Cone, according to the difficulties and characteristics of each country in the region.
During the first Global Symposium on Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions, held at the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant, several global and regional organizations presented experiences based on the water-energy nexus from the perspective of sustainable solutions.