Ecuador debates on energy efficiency
Everyone agrees that it is necessary. Starting to work on greater efficiency in the use of energy resources would not only allow the country to lower pollution rates,but also reduce its costs and gain competitiveness. However, discrepanciesarise when talking about ways to achieve it.
One of the routes used is the draft Energy Efficiency Law, which last September hadits first debate in the National Assembly, and which promotes three lines of action to guide the country to that goal. The first one points to the public transport sector. The proposal suggests a period of time until 2025 to startchanging conventional transport vehicles for electric mobility cars.
Esteban Albornoz, president of the Economic Development Commission of the Assembly and promoter of this project, was invited by the Polytechnic School of the Littoral (Espol) to present the arguments on which this project proposes. According to the proforma of 2019, he says, “fuel subsidies represent the country more than 4,000 million dollars, that should already be enough reason to startbetting on these types of efficiencies,” he says.
The other two axes are focused on the construction and industrial sectors. After transportation (46%), industry is the second sector to consume energy in the country, with 19% of what is generated nationally. For this reason, the projectraises above all that the large industrial companies comply with goals of energy efficiency and rational energy consumption.
However,the order generates concern in some industrialists. Bernardo Arosemena, general manager of El Café, a company that for its processed reaches up to 7 million kilowatts per month, asks under what parameters will be defined “the rational”. “Energy efficiency is not only using energy saving lamps,more efficient engines, there are many processes that are involved in the production of any good that is manufactured. And depending on how the process takes more or less energy is consumed. Who in this country could go to my company and tell me that I am using the energy rationally or irrationally?”He asks.
Caterina Costa, president of the Chamber of Industries of Guayaquil (CIG), who was invited to analyze this proposal, mentioned that in order to achieve this objective it will first be necessary to establish a consumption baseline. But she clarified that to define that, you must first listen to the businessmen. “There quest is that in the case of the productive sector, each goal of efficiency and savings must leave each consumer. Not that someone has to tell the industries, the aquaculturists, the farmers or the tourism what we have to do.”
The request, says, has already been heard by the Legislature, now the expectation is that this will be fulfilled. Albornoz picked up every question; These, she said, will be valid for inclusion in the second debate of the project planned for the end of this month. However, she exhorted the businessmen not to see this proposal as a control measure, but as a new policy that will lead them to save resources and to be more profitable. He stressed that the law seeks to propose goals, but that these will be based on incentives.
The country’s energy consumption grew at a rate of 4% until 2017, a year that saw adecline (2.7%).
What is expected
This year, demand has recovered again. From January to September this increased by4.5%, and it is expected to continue increasing with the investment that many companies foresee to make, taking advantage of the tax incentives provided by the Law on Productive Development. (I)