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Belize

Official Name:
Belize

National Designated Entity

Type of organisation:
Government/Ministry
Name:
Mr. Lennox Gladden
Position:
Chief Climate Change Officer
Phone:
(501) 828-8962
Emails:
policy.coord@environment.gov.bz, coord.cc@environment.gov.bz

Energy profile

Belize (2012)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

In Belize, 85% of the total households have electricity; almost 100% of the urban areas (Belize, Corozal and Orange Walk districts) have light, and 49.59% of the rural area (mostly the Stann Creek and Toledo Towns and villages).Even though Belize is making an effort to electrify its rural communities, partially causing a rise in energy demand estimated at 9% per year, there are still a large amount of households without electric services. Electrification is expected to expand in line with an expected rise in electricity demand. Some of the rural communities that lack electricity are situated in areas that are not easily accessible to the transmission network. Therefore there might be a need to assess whether off-grid solutions could be more cost effective for these communities.

Renewable energy potential

In Belize there is a need to produce more electricity to meet the rising electricity needs and minimize the need to import power from Mexico. Renewable Energy may have the potential to provide more power at acceptable prices, job opportunities and the building of skills and expertise. The utilization of other renewable energy sources would also create a more diversified energy sector and provide a greater security of energy supply.Hydropower generation alone will not be able to meet Belize’s need for rising electricity demand Presently, with the exception of biomass, only a small fraction of the country’s renewable energy potential is exploited. Biomass (firewood and bagasse) plays some role in Belize’s energy supply.Hydropower energyBelize has gradually started to utilize its hydropower potential. Even though the potential hydropower resource is relatively small, there are sites that offer options for further hydropower development without the need to inundate large areas of rainforest for storage reservoirs. A 2006 study of Belize’s hydropower potential identified several possible hydropower schemes for Belize. A list of the possible projects is listed below:Chalillo II ProjectBetween the existing Chalillo dam and the Mollejon dam, there is an unused gross head (drop) of about 95 m. The development of a project on this site is estimated to have a potential capacity of 16 MW.Mopan RiverA project consisting of a cascade system along the Mopan River has been considered to have a hydropower potential of 15-20 MW. The Mopan valley is easily accessible by road and provided with transmission lines. The environmental impact of a project in the Mopan Valley is estimated to be almost insignificant, but might require some resettlement or adaptation of existing human and tourist activities.Macal River project, downstream of Vaca Falls 23 km, downstream of Vaca Falls there is a slope of 0.13% on a 32 m head. There is a possibility of installing low-head turbines to generate a maximum of 8.4 MW. The site is easily accessible and in proximity to lines of the national power network.Solar energy Solar PV could be an economically viable option, particularly considering the future in crude oil prices. Belize’s average solar radiation in an optimal tilt angle is roughly estimated at 2,000-3,000 kWh/m2 per year. Taking into consideration the cost of deploying current technologies, solar generation would cost between 0.20 and 0.50 US$/kWh. This cost could drop to 0.10 US$/kWh by 2020. In addition to households, large scale solar PV systems could contribute significantly to power the industrial sector. Solar PV home systems typically consist of one 40 to 60 Watts-peak (Wp) module and one battery, which are highly cost-effective considering Belize’s climate and solar radiation values. National legislation does not contemplate tax incentives for the generation of electricity by means of photovoltaic systems.Wind energy Estimated mean wind velocity at 80 meters above ground is approximately 7 to 8m/s. Assuming an average velocity of 6 m/s, electricity generation costs are calculated at 0.05 to 0.10 US$/kWh for off-grid systems. Some studies suggest that Belize’s potential for wind power is some 20 MW. However, no comprehensive study on wind generation capacity has been conducted nationwide. The Baldy Beacon area shows considerable potential for wind power generation.Paradise Technology Solutions have developed a Sustainability Plan to assist the Belizean Government in achieving “a disciplined approach to Sustainable Growth”. Amongst other activities, there is a proposal for the development of a 40 MW wind or solar farm is planned. The aim is to provide enough renewable energy to substitute imported oil for energy production.Geothermal energy Belize has a very low potential for geothermal resources. However, neighbouring countries such as Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have great geothermal potential, which they could export in the form of electricity to Belize. The government of Belize should explore agreements with those countries with the aim of gaining access to cheaper, clean electricity.

Energy framework

In 2004, the national energy plan for Belize was presented; it included analysis of the energy sector and made policy recommendations to promote several forms of sustainable energy, such as a renewable energy portfolio standard and minimum local generation standard. However, the country has no renewables-specific policies, either as a part of a comprehensive energy strategy or specific to the electricity sub-sector.Short of policies, Belize has taken some actions to encourage renewables investment, including developing an investor’s information packet. A national renewable energy education and awareness program aims to communicate the overall goals of the government. Also, several initiatives to encourage solar water heaters and small PV and wind systems have been developed. A comprehensive renewable energy training initiative with the purpose of increasing utility staff and project developers’ capacity to develop and utilize these resources has been established.Belize does not currently have an energy efficiency law or an entity specifically responsible for related policies and programs. The government would like to implement a comprehensive energy-efficiency training program for utility personnel, hotel developers and engineers, potential entrepreneurs, and other relevant stakeholders. It is planning to revise building codes to include potential energy saving design features and may conduct a study of energy end-use practices in all sectors in collaboration with BEL and an organization experienced in conducting surveys.

Source
Static Source:
  • Sustainable Energy Regulation Network (SERN) Policy Database

    Type: 
    Publication

    This database provides energy information for countries throughout the world, including Africa; the Baltic States, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean; the Middle East; Russia and FSU; South Asia; South East Asia; and the Pacific Region. For each country, the database provides information on energy sources, reliance, electrification expansion, capacity concerns, renewable energy, energy efficiency, ownership, competition, framework, national energy priorities, the role of government, and regulation.

  • Country Energy Profiles (Website)

    Type: 
    Publication

    This reegle website provides comprehensive energy profiles for all countries with information from reliable sources such as UN or the World Bank. Profile information includes national policies on energy-related issues, visualized statistics, renewable energy potentials maps, national projects programmes, and key stakeholders.

  • Sustainable Energy Partnership for the Americas (SEPA) Program (Website)

    Type: 
    Publication

    The primary mission of the Sustainable Energy Partnership for the Americas (SEPA) program is to support the development and use of sustainable energy technologies and services within the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) member states. This website lists current projects commissioned by SEPA and provides documents produced through the projects. The website also lists upcoming events and news related to SEPA and explains SEPA's mission, goals, and current activities.

  • Background Data Collection on Bio-Energy in the Caribbean and Central America

    Type: 
    Publication
    Background Data Collection on Bio-Energy in the Caribbean and Central America
    Publication date:
    Sectors:

    This report identifies opportunities for bio-energy development in Caribbean and Central American nations, including the technical potential for biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel) and biopower generation. A country overview, energy overview, bio-energy production technical potential, and supporting data are provided for each country. Information can be used to launch more in-depth market assessments.

  • Planning Geothermal Power Generation: Lessons Learned (Presentation)

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Sectors:

    This presentation reviews lessons learned from Kenya, the Philippines, Iceland, and other countries related to geothermal power. It includes key questions, barriers to development, and case studies. The presentation is a resource from the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).

  • Electricity Auctions: An Overview of Efficient Practices

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Sectors:

    Facing a sustained increase in the demand for electricity, many countries are concerned about how to add new capacity that is sufficient, reliable, secure, and least-cost. Focusing on World Bank client countries, this report assesses the potential of electricity contract auctions for adding new and retaining existing generation capacity. The report examines five main types of electricity auctions and presents the major issues and characteristics of each. It includes a section dedicated to renewable energy auctions.

  • IRENA Portal for Studies on Renewable Energy Potential

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Sectors:

    This portal provides access to over 10,000 existing references of studies on renewable resources and potentials available worldwide. The information on this portal is presented using interactive flash maps with color codes that indicate the number of references available by country. Renewable energy resources considered include biomass, geothermal energy, hydropower, marine, solar and wind energy.

  • REN21 Renewables 2012 Global Status Report: Latin America

    Type: 
    Publication
    Publication date:
    Sectors:

    With a focus on Latin America, this webinar—part of a series—presents the findings of REN21’s Renewables 2012 Global Status Report, which addresses the cumulating effect of steady growth in renewable energy markets, support policies, and investment over the past years.