Electricity in Colombia
Colombia is working with a voltage of 110 volts from the mains. It is similar to the American system. Both in terms of voltage and plug.
An interesting feature of the Colombian electricity sector is the following. If you live in a certain area has a number, called a stratum. If the number is higher (the area is then ranked as better) than you pay more for electricity than in an area with a lower stratum. The system works by cross-subsidies. And keep very simple that if you earn more and therefore in a better living area that you can pay more for your electricity. This ensures that power is available to everyone. The same system is also applied to the water.
The electricity supply in Colombia is based on the National Interconnected System (SIN) and several isolated local systems in the non-interconnected areas (ZNI). The Sin system comprises one third of the territory, which provides coverage to 96 percent of the population. The remaining two thirds of the national territory ZNI provides power witch has only 4 percent of the population. The ZNI system is mainly situated in the east of the country where there is lots of impassable terrain and live a few people.
Thirty-two large hydroelectric plants and thermal power stations feed electricity thirty in the SIN. ZNI The system usually consists of small diesel generators, many of which are not properly maintained. At the end of 2005, the effective net installed capacity was 13.4 gigawatts (GW). Below is their distribution.
• Large Hydro: 63.92%
• Thermal (gas): 27.41%
• Thermal (coal): 5.2%
• Small hydro: 3.08%
• Mini-gas: 0.17%
• Cogeneration: 0.15%
• Wind: 0.07%
Small hydropower plants are plants with a maximum capacity of 10MW.
The share of the thermal power plants in the generation rose since the mid-90s. This is in response to the crisis of 1992/1993 where there where prolonged drought caused by El Nino. This allowed the large hydro plants not deliver full power. As a result of this a new policy was approved by the country to decrease the share of hydropower from 80 percent in the early '90s to less than 65 percent. This involves adding 1,500 MW of new capacity, also divided between hydro and thermal sources, by 2011.
The total electricity production in 2005 was 50.4 TW hours. The hydro-electric plants produced 81.2 percent, 18.6 percent thermal plants and wind installations are 0.1 percent of the total.
In 2005, total electricity consumption was 48.8 TW h, with an average per capita consumption of 828 KW hours per year. Consumption by sector is as follows:
• Residential: 42.2%
• Industrial: 31.8%
• Commercial: 18%
• Government: 3.8%
• Other Use: 4.3%
The demand is growing approximately 4% a year.