USAID Central America Regional Clean Energy Initiative
Tetra Tech is providing independent, expert services to local and regional policy makers, regulatory agencies, power market administrators, and investors. Our experts are supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Regional Clean Energy Initiative (RCEI), which is part of the wider U.S. government Climate Change and Economic Growth Strategy. The initiative also aims to advance the development of the regional electricity market in Central America. All of this will enhance economic growth—including job creation, improved power system reliability and competition, and reduced energy costs and environmental impact.
The program provides technical assistance to national and regional entities to fill in regulatory and policy gaps, address market barriers, and build capacity toward strengthening institutions, diversifying the energy matrix, and promoting the efficient use of energy resources.
Tetra Tech has led much of the reform and privatization of the power sector in many of the countries in Central America from 1996 to 2006. The knowledge and current continued physical presence and ongoing technical support and coordination have been critical to provide effective support in the region for the evolution of legal and regulatory framework their key consultants had being involved in the region for a long time.Joseph Terrazas, Contracting Officer, USAID/Central America
Tetra Tech is supporting a unified regulatory and trade policy to develop the Regional Electric Market and improve the investment atmosphere for renewable energy. We are also assisting the Central America regional regulator (CRIE) and the market operator/Ente Operador Regional (EOR) in handling transactions and mechanisms for submitting energy offers to the Regional Electric Market by national operators and market participants. We are addressing barriers to renewable energy projects that are facing regulatory, financial, social, or environmental obstacles; and helping develop energy efficiency equipment standards and labeling. Finally, Tetra Tech is supporting public lighting pilot projects, including the development of technical equipment standards.
Clean energy generation and the reduction of energy consumption through energy efficiency contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and the effects of climate change. This initiative seeks to achieve a balance between the environment and society, favoring their integrated development. It also aims to bring about improved quality of life for the people of Central America while contributing to electrical supply security, job creation, economic growth, and the stability of energy prices.
Tetra Tech’s work includes:
- Reviewing national and regional policies and regulations for the Regional System Operator and identifying barriers and improvements
- Developing strategic plans for key institutions associated with the regulatory market and policy and oversight
- Studying national and regional regulations on taxation, treaties under the Central American Integration System, and the regional regulator’s internal procedures that will improve the investment climate in renewable energy generation
- Developing an integrated institutional and procedural flowchart for development and approval of new energy projects including contractual, financial, and installation information
- Providing technical assistance to develop efficient public lightning programs with municipalities in coordination with Consejo Nacional de Energía (CNE) in El Salvador
Several energy transactions have now been completed, raising the number of available gigawatt hours from 300 in 2010 to more than 1,000 in March 2014. This has resulted in improved power availability at more competitive and lower prices, in addition to CO2 reductions.
View two videos created by USAID on the Regional Electricity Market in the Central America power sector and renewable energy in Central America. The videos illustrate how the Tetra Tech–supported USAID Regional Clean Energy Initiative has helped with the development of renewable energy.