Panama Member Committee meeting with Presidential Candidates to discuss Solar PV Regulation

Posted on 29 March 2019

The Panama Member Committee held a meeting and panel discussion with presidential candidates and their representatives for the upcoming 2019 Panama general election. The reason for this meeting was that regulations for energy prosumers are changing in Panama and new tariff tiers will be applied after 2022. From that date onwards, the Régimen Tarifario (Tariff Regime) will be applied to every consumer and its article 9 relating to the Procedure for Self-Consumption will be modified to establish a framework about new, renewable and clean energy sources. This is what the World Energy Council’s mission is all about: helping regulators legislate in the most informed, objective and impartial way.

As time and technology march on, the cost and yield of renewable energy sources improve. This will drive the market, placing energy self-consumption in the mainstream. Moreover, this would reduce the consumption curve as well as environmental hazards like greenhouse gas derived from excessive fossil fuel usage. However, this distribution system will be supported by all taxpayers and in order to safeguard its integrity, the fact that not every customer will be installing renewable energy systems must be accounted for.

Currently the ratio of prosumers who have installed renewable energy sources for distributed generation is relatively low compared to power demand. This is the reason why it was proposed to introduce a tariff scheme that operates on the basis of the latent capacity that the distribution system must provide back to the users. The goal with this is to strike a balance between the prosumers’ Return of Investment -since setting up photovoltaic panels is no small task- and the network’s operating costs. It is also recommended to have  more detailed analysis of the effects that a massive uptick in renewable energies being redistributed might have on the grid. This would allow fair tariffs, thus driving the energy transition and ultimately, prosperity for all.

Find more detailed information about Panama’s upcoming regulatory changes and their proposals in this report from the World Energy Council’s Panama Member Committee  (Link in Spanish language).