Energy profile: Panama

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This page is part of Global Energy Monitor's Latin America Energy Portal.
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Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)

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

Panama currently relies on oil for more than 70% of its total energy supply.[1][2][3] In the electrical sector, hydro energy also plays a key role, accounting for nearly 44% of installed capacity and total generation as of 2019. Other renewable sources such as wind and solar supply a small but growing percentage of the country's electrical needs.[1] The PEN (Plan Energético Nacional) 2015-2050 aims to drastically increase the use of renewable energy in Panama to 70% of the country's energy mix.[4][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 by 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 emissions from all sides, with support from the Ministry of the Environment.[7][8] In 2021, the Panama Canal officially began decarbonizing its operations in order to be carbon neutral by 2030.[9]

Government energy agencies & other key players

National energy ministry

The SNE (Secretaría Nacional de Energía) works under the office of Panama's 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 and 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 all aspects of Panama's electrical sector.[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

During 2020, less than 20% of Panamanians worked in the industry sector, which includes energy-related employment.

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.[14] 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 grid connecting Central American countries.[15]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.[16]


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

Panama does not produce coal and accordingly has no new sources or projects. As of 2016, Panama consumed 330,693 short tons of imported coal and ranked 86th in the world for coal consumption.[17]

Panama coal consumption between 1988-2016, Source: Worldometers

In 2014, approximately 15 million long tons of thermal coal passed through the Panama Canal.[18] The canal is a key conduit for shipments of Colombian coal to Asia and the Pacific coast of South America.[19]

Oil & Natural Gas in Panama

Domestic Production

Panama does not produce crude oil or natural gas.[15]


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

Imports & source countries

The United States is a key supplier of fuel oil to Panama, along with Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico.[21]

Proposed new sources & projects

Floating LNG storage units are among the potential new projects currently under consideration by investors in Panama.[22]


The Trans-Panama pipeline moves oil between the Atlantic and Pacific.[15]

Renewable Energy in Panama

Panama's renewable energy sector currently depends heavily on hydropower, and the National Energy Plan 2015-2050 aims to diversify Panama's energy matrix to avoid dependence.[5]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Panama

Extreme weather events - especially droughts and flooding, which affect hydroelectric plants - are a primary concern for energy infrastructure, production, and distribution in Panama.[11] Green energy production is a top priority for Panama as well as switching to electric vehicles, generating more wind and solar power, and monitoring the Panama Canal's water usage during periods of low rainfall.[23]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Panorama Energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2020". OLADE. November 27, 2020.
  2. "IEA Policies and Measures Database © OECD/IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  3. "Panama - Countries & Regions - IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  4. "Plan Energético Nacional". Secretaría Nacional de Energía – Gobierno de Panamá. Retrieved 2021-06-09.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Demand analysis of emerging PV markets: Panama of Central and Southern America". Info Link. March 17, 2020.
  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. April 27, 2021.
  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". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  14. "Panama Economy - GDP, Inflation, CPI and Interest Rate". FocusEconomics | Economic Forecasts from the World's Leading Economists. January 2, 2014.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "International - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  16. "¿Cuántas distribuidoras hay en Panamá y cuáles son sus áreas de concesión?". ENSA. February 16, 2016.
  17. "Panama Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-04-27.
  18. Sabonge, Rodolfo (August 2014). "The Panama Canal expansion: A driver of change for global trade flows" (PDF). United Nations: ECLAC.
  19. "The future of the Panama Canal: What's next for grain and coal shipping - FreightWaves". FreightWaves. April 26, 2019.
  20. "Panama Oil Reserves, Production and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  21. "US marine fuels share rises in Panama". Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  22. "Gaslog signs FSU charter for Panama power project". Argus Media. September 4, 2019.
  23. Anastasia Moloney (April 20, 2021). "INTERVIEW-Panama boosts action to protect forests, drought-hit canal". Reuters.