Nicaragua – over 98% electrification, 75% renewables supply


Nicaragua has reached a 98.5% electrification rate with over 1.23 million homes electrified by December 2020.

During the past year, the pace of electrification continued with almost 30,000 homes electrified. This brings the total to 1,234,931 homes with quality electricity supply in the Central American country, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has reported.

The achievement also marks the completion of electrification to almost 653,000 homes since 2006, when the country’s electrification rate stood at 54%.

“We have exceeded our target,” said Salvador Mansell Castrillo, Minister of Energy and Mines and CEO of the national transmission company Enatrel.

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“This means that at the general level more than 3.5 million Nicaraguans have benefitted.”

And he promised that the resources were guaranteed to continue electrification through to 2025, to achieve 99.9% electrification.

The ministry has also announced that renewables generation rate reached 75.2% in the energy generation matrix in 2020, contributing over 3,100GWh. This is up from an almost 60% contribution in 2019 and 26% in 2006.

Of the renewables geothermal is the largest contributor accounting for 21% of the renewable generation, followed by wind on 16%, hydro on 15%, biomass on 14% and solar on just 0.6%. Imports however, claimed as renewables, make up the greatest proportion contributing almost one-third.

Generation expansion

Nicaragua bounded by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south is on a path to energy independence, with renewable energies anticipated to support the growth in demand from the largely rural population.

The generation expansion plan for 2019-2033 projects an almost 75% increase in demand over that period with local renewables contributing 70% of the generation by 2033. Growth is envisaged in all renewable types but mainly in solar and wind and in particular in the hydropower capacity with a projected 436MW contributing one-third of the renewable supply in 2033.