Energy profile: Paraguay
Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)
In 2020, hydro power provided 100% of Paraguay's electricity and roughly half of the country's overall energy supply, with biofuels and imported oil accounting for the remainder. By 2022, Paraguay became the only country in the world with 100% renewable energy electricity generation.
Greenhouse gas emissions
Paraguay's per capita emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion (1.2 metric tons in 2018) are among the lowest in Latin America. Paraguay's NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) plan calls for emissions reductions of 10% (relative to Business as Usual) by 2030.
Government energy agencies
National energy ministry
The Viceministerio de Minas y Energía oversees the DRM (Dirección de Recursos Minerales) and the DRE (Dirección de Recursos Energéticos). The DRM is responsible for the location, study, classification, evaluation, and proper use of mineral resources. The DRE is responsible for the study, identification, and use of alternative energy.
SieParaguay is the energy information system for Paraguay which launched in 2020 to enhance the management and dissemination of information on sustainable development in the country.
Permitting & regulatory agencies
Permitting and regulation of energy projects is handled by the Viceministry of Mines and Energy.
ANDE (Administración Nacional de Electricidad) is the state-owned entity responsible for satisfying Paraguay's electrical needs through generation, transmission, and distribution.
National oil company
Paraguay does not have a national oil company.
Leading energy companies
Itaipu Binacional, which operates the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam, is the largest energy company in Paraguay.
Energy sector employment data
Just over 20% of employed Paraguayans work in the industry sector which includes mining, quarrying, manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas, and water.
As of 2020, Paraguay's installed electrical capacity was 8772 MW, sourced 100% from hydro power.
Hydroelectricity is responsible for 100% of Paraguay's electrical production; the country produced 46.4 TWh of electricity in 2020. The Itaipu dam is Paraguay's major electricity producer, accounting for approximately 90% of production as of 2019. Paraguay and Brazil (the dam's co-operator) each own 50% of the dam's production, according to the 1973 Treaty of Itaipu; however, Paraguay is contractually obligated to sell any unused power from its share at cost to Brazil's state-owned utility Electrobras, a situation that has become increasingly controversial as both countries anticipate the treaty's renegotiation in 2023.
Paraguay is able to meet 100% of national electrical demand, but there are still areas where clandestine electrical connections are used, particularly in low income households.
In 2019, Paraguay consumed 49.82 TWh of electricity.
Coal in Paraguay
Paraguay produces no coal. Paraguayans consumed 1,680 short tons of imported coal in 2016, approximately 248 cubic feet per capita annually. However, Paraguay has been phasing out imports as it moves towards a fully renewable energy matrix, and consumption has dropped to virtually zero since 2016.
Oil & Natural Gas in Paraguay
Paraguay consumed 51,000 barrels per day of oil in 2016, approximately 0.32 gallons of oil per capita daily.
Imports & source countries
Paraguay imports almost all of the oil that it consumes.
Proposed new sources & projects
During 2019, Paraguay experienced increased interest from domestic and foreign oil and gas companies considering expanding into the country, which is likely to lead to new development, despite setbacks from the global pandemic during 2020.
Renewable Energy in Paraguay
Paraguay generates 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, with the vast majority coming from the Itaipu, Yacyretá, and Acaray hydroelectric projects. Since turning to hydropower, Paraguay no longer relies on oil and diesel imports for electrical generation. Paraguay generates far more power than it uses from its three dams and is able to sell the remainder; 7.1% of Paraguay's GDP is attributed to electricity exports.
Drought conditions which steadily worsened during 2020 and 2021, linked to deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, have led to an energy crisis for operations at hydroelectric plants dependent on the Paraná River and Paraguay River. Paraguay's energy matrix will continue to be threatened if the country does not diversify the energy matrix to become more resistant to drought conditions brought about by climate change.
Iron & Steel in Paraguay
Iron is the major metal found and produced in Paraguay. In 2019, Paraguay exported nearly $28 million worth of iron and steel while importing $263.36 million worth of iron and steel. 43% of exported iron and steel goes to India, followed by the United States (37%), Argentina (8.11), and Brazil (2.81%), with smaller amounts going to other countries including Pakistan, the Netherlands, and Bangladesh. Paraguay imports the majority of their iron and steel from Argentina (39%) and Brazil (22%).
Hydropower development in Paraguay has caused changes to hydrologic and ecological systems, prompting studies focused on the maintenance and preservation of wetlands, particularly in the Upper Paraguay and Paraná river basins. More than 100,000 hectares of land surrounding the Itaipu hydropower project have been protected and recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Paraguay has become involved in Bitcoin mining which is a new energy concern for the country.
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