Energy profile: Guatemala

From Global Energy Monitor


This page is part of Global Energy Monitor's Latin America Energy Portal.
Related pages:

Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)

In 2018, Guatemala derived 57.43% of its total energy supply from biofuels and waste, followed by oil (29.54%), coal (7.68%), hydro (3.22%), and other renewables such as wind and solar (2.12%).[1]

Despite hydro power's relatively small contribution to total energy supply, it accounted for more than a third of installed electrical capacity and more than half of electricity generation in 2020.[2]

Greenhouse gas emissions targets

Guatemala's most recent national energy plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29.2% between 2017 and 2032 through energy efficiency and renewable energy.[3][4] Guatemala outlined a slightly more modest GHG reduction goal in its 2017 Nationally Determined Contribution proposal, pledging a 22.6% reduction vs. business as usual by 2030.[5] A critical pillar for achieving Guatemala's goals is the reduction of deforestation.[6]

Government energy agencies & other key players

National energy ministry

MEM (Ministerio de Energía y Minas) is responsible for policy development, planning, and programming of all things related to the energy sector.

Permitting agencies

All projects that could create an environmental hazard must obtain an environmental impact assessment from the MARN (Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales). Permits are also required by the municipality where the project is to be based.[7]

Regulatory agencies

Guatemala's electricity industry is regulated by the General Electricity Act (Ley General de Electricidad) and the CNEE (Comisión Nacional de Energía Eléctrica).[7]

The DGH (General Direction of Hydrocarbons) regulates the hydrocarbon sub-sector.[8]

Electric utilities

Guatemala's three main electrical distribution companies - EEGSA (Empresa Eléctrica de Guatemala SA), DEORSA (Distribuidora de Electricidad de Oriente S.A.), and DEOCSA (Distribuidora de Electricidad de Occidente S.A.) - are responsible for 84% of national coverage.[8] The Guatemalan energy grid was privatized over two decades ago, which negatively affects many rural communities that do not have reliable and affordable energy.[9]

National oil company

Guatemala does not have a national oil company. Perenco and Pacific Rubiales are important private oil companies operating in the country.[8]

Electricity usage

Installed capacity

As of 2020, Guatemala had 4110 MW of installed electrical capacity, based primarily on hydro power (38.38%), fossil fuels (30.36%), and biomass (25.20%). Other renewable sources represented a much smaller percentage of capacity, including wind (2.61%), solar (2.25%) and geothermal energy (1.20%).[2]


Guatemala produced 11,121 GWh of electricity in 2020, fueled by hydro power (52.30%), fossil fuels (24.88%), biomass (15.55%), wind (2.81%), geothermal (2.46%) and solar energy (1.99%).[2]


As of 2020, 94.7% of the population had access to electricity.[8] Installed capacity was approximately double the energy demand.[10]


In 2019, Guatemalans used 772 kWh per capita.[11]

Coal in Guatemala

Guatemala does not produce coal. As of 2016, Guatemala consumed 1,751,571 tons of coal, approximately 105,624 per capita annually.[12] Guatemala imports all of the coal it consumes, primarily from Colombia and the United States.[13]

Source: Worldometers

Oil & Natural Gas in Guatemala

Domestic Production

Guatemala produces 9,600 bbl/day as of 2018 and has approximately 83.07 million bbl in proven reserves.[14] The country produces 1,162bbl/day of refined petroleum products.[14] Guatemala does not produce any natural gas.


Guatemala consumed 89,000 bbl/day as of 2016 of refined petroleum products.[14]

Imports & source countries

Oil and gas is imported primarily from the United States and Mexico.[15]


Guatemala's most important pipeline is the 474 km Hydrocarbons Stationary Transport System, which brings oil from the Campo Xan and Rubelsanto fields to the Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla export terminal.[16]

Proposed new sources & projects

ECLAC (the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) has proposed a 600 km natural gas pipeline that would connect Mexico with Central America. The proposed Mexico-Northern Central America Gas Pipeline would transport Mexican natural gas from southeastern Mexico to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.[15][17][18]

Renewable Energy in Guatemala

Guatemala plans to fuel 80% of its electricity matrix with renewable energy by 2030.[19] Guatemala's policy for rural electrification focuses on renewable energy sources such as solar PV, wind, small hydroelectric plants, and hybrid power plants.[20][21] National electricity agency EEGSA has recently made moves to replace coal-fired power plants with energy from renewable sources, as evidenced by the results of Guatemala's 2020 energy tender.[22]

An increasing number of small-scale electrical plants based at Guatemalan sugar mills have begun to burn bagasse (sugar cane residue) during the harvest season as an alternative to coal and other fossil fuels.[23][24] Despite a 7.2% drop in the 2020-2021 sugar harvest due to COVID-19, sugar mills still contributed 30% of the energy consumed in Guatemala during the harvest season from November-May.[25]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Guatemala

Guatemala is greatly affected by the impacts of climate change such as rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall, and hurricanes.[26] Indigenous Guatemalans have often borne the brunt of environmentally damaging energy and mining projects, prompting community protests.[27][28] Persons defending land and territory are at risk of aggressions, threats, murder, criminalization, and stigmatization according to a 2021 study by the OMCT; Between 2019 and 2020 females were at particularly high risk with 28 attacks during this period.[29]


  1. "IEA Policies and Measures Database © OECD/IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-06-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Panorama Energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2021". OLADE. November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "Plan Nacional de Energía 2017-2032" (PDF). Gobierno de la República de Guatemala. December 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Guatemala launches renewables and efficiency focused national energy plan - New Energy Events". New Energy Events. 2017-12-14. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  5. "Contribución Prevista y Determinada a Nivel Nacional" (PDF). Gobierno de la República de Guatemala. January 25, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Anastasia Moloney. "The poorest in Guatemala bear brunt of climate change, research says". U.S. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Practical Law UK Signon". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Guatemala Energy Situation -". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  9. "Guatemala Communities Rebel Against High Energy Costs". NACLA. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  10. "Geothermal Country Overview: Guatemala - GeoEnergy Marketing". GeoEnergy Marketing. 2020-07-31. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  11. Hannah Ritchie; Max Roser (2020-07-10). "Energy". Our World in Data.
  12. "Guatemala Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  13. "Coal Briquettes in Guatemala". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Guatemala - The World Factbook". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Mexico revives Central America gas and power plan". 2019-05-22. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  16. "Adjudican a Perenco contrato para operar oleoducto por otros 25 años". Prensa Libre. July 25, 2019.
  17. "Plan de Desarrollo Integral para el Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y el sur-sureste de México, vol. 2". CEPAL. September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. Enrique Hernández (2022-04-28). "El Tren Maya tendrá conexión al Istmo de Tehuantepec y Guatemala: SHCP". Forbes México.
  19. "Lograr que el 80% de la Matriz Eléctrica de Guatemala provenga de fuentes renovables para 2030 es posible". February 2, 2021. Retrieved 2021-05-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "Plan Indicativo de Electrificación Rural 2020-2050" (PDF). Ministerio de Energía y Minas. September 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "Guatemala's new rural electrification plan advocates use of renewable energy - New Energy Events". New Energy Events. 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
  22. "Del carbón a la energía limpia: Así son los nuevos contratos de generación de EEGSA". Prensa Libre. February 13, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. "Recopilación de la Información de los Simposios de Análisis de la Zafra 1997/1998 – 2014/2015 de Generación de Energía (p 7)" (PDF). Centro Guatemalteco de Investigación y Capacitación de la Caña de Azúcar. December 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. "Plan de Expansión del Sistema de Generación y Transporte 2020-2034 (pp 50-51)" (PDF). Ministerio de Energía y Minas de Guatemala. 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. News, Latin America (2021-07-28). "Guatemala records a 7.2% reduction in sugar harvest in 2021". The Rio Times. Retrieved 2021-10-14. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  26. Anastasia Moloney (May 3, 2019). "The poorest in Guatemala bear brunt of climate change, research says". Reuters.
  27. "Protestas en Guatemala contra hidroeléctricas construye Florentino Pérez". EFEverde. February 21, 2017.
  28. Roberto Baldizon (2018-09-13). "Mining for Silver in Guatemala". Medium. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  29. "Guatemala Una Deuda Sin Saldar" (PDF). OMCT (Organización Mundial Contra la Tortura). January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)