Energy profile: Panama
Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)
Panama currently relies on oil for more than 70% of its total energy supply. 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. 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.
Greenhouse gas emissions targets
Panama aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, partially by emphasizing forest restoration to absorb CO2 emissions. 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. In 2021, the Panama Canal officially began decarbonizing its operations in order to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Government energy agencies & other key players
National energy ministry
The ASEP oversees all aspects of Panama's electrical sector.
National oil company
Panama does not have a national oil company.
Leading energy companies
Energy sector employment data
During 2020, less than 20% of Panamanians worked in the industry sector, which includes energy-related employment.
The installed power capacity in Panama has risen steadily over the last decade.
Panama is the top energy consumer in Central America and imports more than 80% of its energy. 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.The commercial and public sectors used 58% of total electricity in 2014. Three distributors are responsible for energy distribution in Panama: ENSA, Edemet, and Edechi.
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.
In 2014, approximately 15 million long tons of thermal coal passed through the Panama Canal. The canal is a key conduit for shipments of Colombian coal to Asia and the Pacific coast of South America.
Oil & Natural Gas in Panama
Panama does not produce crude oil or natural gas.
Panama consumes 1.61 gallons of oil per capita daily (as of 2016), or 14 barrels per capita annually.
Imports & source countries
The United States is a key supplier of fuel oil to Panama, along with Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico.
Proposed new sources & projects
Floating LNG storage units are among the potential new projects currently under consideration by investors in Panama.
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.
Extreme weather events - especially droughts and flooding, which affect hydroelectric plants - are a primary concern for energy infrastructure, production, and distribution in Panama. 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.
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