Energy profile: Suriname
Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)
As of 2020, 52.9% of Suriname's electricity was generated from fossil fuels, 46.7% from hydro power, and 0.4% from solar energy. Suriname aims to keep its share of electricity from renewable sources above 35% by 2030, according to the country's updated NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) plan.
Greenhouse gas emissions targets
Suriname pledged to not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while also following a "cost-effective pathway to decarbonization of sustainable economic development." Suriname plans to meet these goals by focusing on forests, electricity, agriculture, and transportation.
Government energy agencies & other key players
National energy ministry
The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for the government's energy programs and initiatives.
Suriname's permitting process is detailed in a report by the Inter-American Development Bank, ESIA (Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for Energy Infrastructure Projects).
National oil company
Staatsolie is the national oil company of Suriname. The company celebrated their 40 year anniversary in December 2020 at which time it employed more than 1000 persons. Staatsolie expanded into renewable energy when they assumed the operation of Afobaka Hydroelectric plant in 2020. The six strategic goals of the company to realize their Vision 2030 include sustaining onshore production, remaining a first quartile producer, establishing shallow offshore join ventures, participating in deep offshore opportunities, developing and implementing alternative energy sources, and strengthening to world-class standards.
EBS and Staatsolie are responsible for their own regulatory processes.
Energy sector employment data
In 2020, 23.49% of those employed in Suriname worked in the industry sector, which includes mining, quarrying, manufacturing, construction, electricity, gas, and water.
As of 2020, Suriname's installed electricity capacity was 501 MW, with fossil fuels accounting for nearly 62% and renewables (mostly hydro power) making up the remainder.
In 2020, Suriname generated 2.4 TWh of electricity.
As of 2018, the peak electrical demand was 215.4 MW and 97% of the population had access to electricity.
As of 2020, 48% of electricity was consumed by the industrial sector, followed by the residential (33%) and commercial (19%) sectors.
Coal in Suriname
Suriname does not produce, consume, import, or export coal.
Oil & Natural Gas in Suriname
As of 2018, Suriname was producing 17,000 barrels of crude oil per day, with 84.2 million barrels of proven crude oil reserves. Suriname produces 7,571 barrels per day of refined petroleum products as of 2015. Suriname did not produce natural gas as of 2017.
In October 2021, Staatsolie signed an offshore oil output sharing contract with Chevron for 30 years in Block 5 which includes exploration, development, and production rights. The development of the oil industry in Suriname is viewed as an economic protection despite the country experiencing the direct effects of climate change.
Suriname consumed 13,000 barrels per day of refined petroleum products during 2016. As of 2017, the country consumed no natural gas.
Imports & source countries
Suriname was importing neither crude oil nor associated petroleum products as of 2021.
Proposed new sources & projects
Throughout 2020, five offshore oil and gas discoveries were made off the coast of Suriname, one of which is expected to start producing oil by 2025. It is likely that Suriname will use oil and gas investment to jump-start its troubled economy.
Renewable Energy in Suriname
As of September 2020, hydro power (180 MW), solar (7 MW), and biomass (2 MW) were the main forms of renewable energy. The Development of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Electrification of Suriname program is being followed to promote renewable energy integration. Solar power will likely become an essential energy source as prices drop and Suriname attempts to move away from fossil fuels.
Suriname has suffered from extensive soil erosion, heavy rainfall, flooding, higher temperatures, high winds, and more intense storms as a result of climate change. Other environmental challenges facing Suriname include deforestation, water pollution from mining, and salinization of potable water. In 2020, Suriname pledged to expand its protected forests and wetlands to cover 17% of national territory by 2030, up from the current 14%.
At COP26 in 2021, Surinamese President Santokhi emphasized his country's commitment to protecting forests in order to mitigate the effects of climate change such as flooding while simultaneously highlighting the country's desire to continue to develop the oil industry.
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