Energy Profile-Panama

From Global Energy Monitor
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Este artículo forma parte del Portal Energético de América Latina de Global Energy Monitor.

Economy & demographics

Projected GDP growth

Panamanian GDP from 1985 to 2025 projection in billion U.S. dollars, Source: Statista

With the exception of a dip due to the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Panamanian GDP has been growing steadily since 1990 and is expected to continue growing through 2025.[1] Panama is expected to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 through 2021 and 2022.[2]

Projected population growth

Panama is expected to have a population of 4,381,579 in July 2021.[3] Panama's population growth rate is healthy and sustainable through a birthrate of 2.51 children per woman and reasonable, positive migration since the mid 1990s.[3]

Government energy plans

Fuel mix targets (fossil fuels vs renewables)

Total energy supply by source, Panama 1990-2018, Source: IEA

The PEN (Plan Energetico Nacional) 2015-2050 aims to drastically increase the use of renewable energy in Panama to 70% of the country's energy mix.[4] As of 2018, Panama was getting approximately 75% of their energy supply from oil.[5]

Greenhouse gas emissions targets

Total final energy consumption by sector (1990-2014) in Panama, Source: SNE

Panama aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, partially be emphasizing forest restoration to absorb CO2 emissions.[6] The Sustainable Panama: Reduce Your Footprint (Reduce tu Huella) program encompasses all government ministries, the Panama Canal, logistics, construction, forestry, agriculture, tourism, academia, and the financial sector and looks to reduce GHG from all sides.[7] Reduction of GHG is supported by the Ministry of the Environment.[8] In 2021, the Panama Canal officially began decarbonizing their operations in order to be carbon neutral by 2030.[9]

Government energy agencies

National energy ministry

The SNE (Secretaría Nacional de Energía) works under the office of the President to move forward with energy related planning and policy.[10]

Permitting agencies

The Ministry of the Environment (Ministerio de Ambiente) is responsible for permitting of Environmental Impact Assessments.[11]

Regulatory agencies

The SNE is responsible for the regulatory framework for energy policy.[11] The ASEP (Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Públicos) is responsible for regulation of the electricity sector in Panama.

Electric utilities

The ASEP oversees the electrical sector in Panama.[12]

National oil company

Panama does not have a national oil company.

Leading energy companies

Naturgy is the leading energy distributor in Panama.[13] Terpel and EPAPetrol are leading oil and gas companies in Panama.

Energy sector employment data

Less than 20% of Panamanians worked in the industry sector during 2020 which includes energy related employment opportunities.

Electricity usage

Installed capacity

The installed power capacity in Panama has risen steadily over the last decade.[11]


EGESA (Empresa de Generación Eléctrica S.A.) is the state-owned company in the electrical sector responsible for developing projects in the generation marketplace.[11]


Panama is the top energy consumer in Central America and imports more than 80% of its energy.[2] In order to meet consumer demand, Panama is part of the SIEPAC (Sistema de Interconexión Eléctrica de los Países de América Central), the electrical transmission lines connecting Central American countries.[14]The commercial and public sectors used 58% of total electricity in 2014.[11] Three distributors are responsible for energy distribution in Panama: ENSA, Edemet, and Edechi.[15]


Electricity is distributed via Panama's nationally interconnected system (SIN).[11] Electricity prices are impacted by weather patterns because of Panama's use of hydropower.[11]

Coal in Panama

Domestic Production

Panama does not produce coal and accordingly has no new sources or projects.


Panama coal consumption between 1988-2016, Source: Worldometers

In 2016, Panama consumed 330,693 short tons of coal and ranks 86th in the world for coal consumption, approximately 81,914 cubic feet of coal per capita annually.[16]

Imports & source countries

Panama imports all of the coal it consumes.[16]


In 2014, approximately 15 million long tons of thermic coal passed through the Panama Canal.[17] Colombian coal shippers are predominant customers in the Panama Canal that are transiting to the Pacific side of South America and Asia.[18]

Oil & Natural Gas in Panama

Domestic Production

Panama does not produce crude oil or natural gas.[19]


Panama consumes 1.61 gallons of oil per capita daily (as of 2016); 14 barrels per capital annually.[20]

Imports & source countries

In 2020, the United States became a very important source country for fuel oil in Panama.[21] The other three largest suppliers of fuel oil to Panama are Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico.[21]

Proposed new sources & projects

LNG floating storage centers in Panama are potential new projects which investors in Panama have been considering.[22]


The Trans-Panama pipeline moves oil between the Atlantic and Pacific.[14]

Renewable Energy in Panama

Panama's renewable energy sector currently depends heavily on hydropower and the National Energy Plan 2015-2050 aims to diversify Panamanian energy to avoid dependence.[4]

Iron & Steel in Panama

The majority of steel imported by Panama is from the United States, China, and Mexico.[23] Panama exports virtually no steel.[24]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Panama

Extreme weather events are a primary concern for energy infrastructure, production, and distribution in Panama, namely concerns about droughts and flooding effecting hydropower plants.[11] Green energy production is a top priority for Panama as well as switching to electric vehicles, generating more wind and solar power, as well as monitoring the water use of the canal during periods of low rainfall.[25]


  1. "Panama - gross domestic product (GDP) 2025 | Statista". Statista. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  2. 2.0 2.1 creator (2014-01-02). "Panama Economy - GDP, Inflation, CPI and Interest Rate". FocusEconomics | Economic Forecasts from the World's Leading Economists. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Panama Population 2021 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs)". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Demand analysis of emerging PV markets: Panama of Central and Southern America". Info Link. March 17, 2020.
  5. "Panama - Countries & Regions - IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  6. Ministerio de Ambiente, República de Panamá (December 2020). "Contribución Determinada a Nivel Nacional de Panama (CDN1) Primera Actualización" (PDF). UNFCCC.
  7. "Panama Launches New Programme Towards Implementing its NDC". United Nations. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  8. "Panama's Green Recovery from COVID-19 | Platform for REDESIGN 2020". Platform for REDESIGN 2020. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  9. "Panama Canal begins transition to become carbon neutral by 2030 - Port Technology International". Port Technology International. 2021-04-27. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  10. "DevelopmentAid". DevelopmentAid. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 "Renewables Readiness Assessment: Panama" (PDF). IRENA. May 2018.
  12. "Leyes Sectoriales, Reglamentos, Normativas y Resoluciones". ASEP. 2021.
  13. "Una historia que inició en 1998". (in ਪੰਜਾਬੀ). Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "International - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  15. "¿Cuántas distribuidoras hay en Panamá y cuáles son sus áreas de concesión?". ENSA (in español). 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Panama Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  17. Sabonge, Rodolfo (August 2014). "The Panama Canal expansion: A driver of change for global trade flows" (PDF). United Nations: ECLAC.
  18. "The future of the Panama Canal: What's next for grain and coal shipping - FreightWaves". FreightWaves. 2019-04-26. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  19. "International - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  20. "Panama Oil Reserves, Production and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "US marine fuels share rises in Panama". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  22. "Gaslog signs FSU charter for Panama power project". 2019-09-04. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  23. Export Genius. "Panama Import Data of Steel | Panama Steel Imports". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  24. "Panama exports of iron and steel - 1995-2017 Data | 2021 Forecast". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  25. Anastasia Moloney. "INTERVIEW-Panama boosts action to protect forests, drought-hit canal". U.S. Retrieved 2021-04-28.