This workshop summary is also available in Spanish.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) organised a workshop on 21-22 November in Lima, Peru, on legal and regulatory frameworks for geothermal development in the Andes region. The workshop was part of IRENA’s Geothermal Initiative in Andes, launched together with the Latin America Energy Organization (OLADE) and the International Geothermal Association (IGA).

Designed to allow regional policy makers to gain insights and advice from countries with long-standing experience in geothermal development, the workshop brought together 57 regional and international stakeholders, including representatives from government, regulatory bodies, the private sector and academia from the five Andean countries: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Policy, regulatory and legal experts in the sector from IRENA member countries – specifically Grenada, Iceland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand and Nicaragua – shared their insights and experiences. Representatives from the IGA, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and OLADE also shared their knowledge and outlined support programmes for geothermal development.

International and Andean country experts and practitioners gave presentations in five sessions over the two days, with these main aims:

  • Sharing experiences and lessons between countries advanced in geothermal development and Andean countries with untapped potential.
  • Identifying short- and long-term gaps and barriers in geothermal regulations.
  • Discussing the way forward for the development of geothermal energy in the Andean countries and identifying areas for collaboration.

Key discussion points from the workshop are presented in a summary paper.

Recommendations for countries in the region to scale-up their geothermal deployment include:

  • Developing geothermal regulations in Ecuador;
  • Incorporating enabling features into laws and regulations for non-electric uses of geothermal energy;
  • Working with environment ministries to seek preferential treatment for renewable energy investments;
  • Exchanging knowledge and information on how to attract private investment;
  • Identifying mechanisms to prevent speculative companies from engaging in the licensing process;
  • Synchronising geothermal licensing regulations in countries that also engage in oil exploration and exploitation;
  • Taking account of lessons from countries in the wider Latin American region, such as those of Central America, that have achieved significant progress with geothermal development.


List of Participants

Session 1 and 2: Introduction to Workshop and the development, challenges and impact of policy and regulations on geothermal development

Estatus de la Energía Geotérmica
Gabriel Salazar Y., OLADE

Legal Framework for utilization of Geothermal energy in Iceland
Harpa Pétursdóttir, ORKUSTOFNUN

Regulatory Framework For Geothermal Energy In Chile
Rodrigo Godoy Ibañez, Ministerio de Energía - Chile

Geothermal Energy Initiative in the Andes
Alejandro Tapia, IRENA

Session 3: Opening up investments for geothermal sector – key policies and regulations required

Government Policy and Regulatory Environment to Facilitate Geothermal Development: The Case of Kenya 
Joe Ng’ang’a, Energy Regulatory Commission, Kenya

KfW – IDB - BCIE – CAF Geothermal Development Facility
Jens Wirth, KfW

Investment in geothermal sector - Example Chile & Tolhuaca project
Rüdiger Trenkle, Mighty River Power

Inversiones en el sector geotérmico en los países andinos: perspectiva del sector privado en Chile
Rüdiger Trenkle, Mighty River Power

Challenges to the Development of Geothermal Energy
Sandro Bruni, IDB

Session 4: Collaborating for growth – Perspectives from Japan

Cooperación de JICA al Desarrollo Geotérmico en Latinoamérica
Makoto Kanagawa, JICA

Overview of JOGMEC’s Geothermal Activities

Overview of Policies on Geothermal Development in Japan
Hidenori Yonekura, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan

Session 5: The socioenvironmental consideration and experiences in setting geothermal policy and regulation

Environmental Aspects of Electricity
Iris Cardenas Pino, MINEM

Ensuring sustained benefits for local communities from geothermal projects
Paul Quinlivan, IGA

Geothermal development in New Zealand Mark Brockelsby, Waikato Regional Council

Environmental Regulation and Renewable Energies
Byron Betancourt Estrella, CONELEC

Session 6: Building up capacities to strengthen geothermal policies and regulation in the Andean countries and beyond

Geothermal Development in Nicaragua Policies and Legal‐Regulatory Framework
María Eugenia Meza, MEM Nicaragua