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Geothermal energy in Colombia

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Hemberth Suarez's picture
Founding Managing Partner OGE Legal Services

Hemberth is an attorney and partner at OGE Legal Services. He is a Master's Degree in Renewable Energies. He is a specialist in electricity and gas regulation, energy mining law, domestic...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Dec 14, 2020

The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia announced the publication of a draft decree that promotes the use and exploitation of clean energy from geothermal energy.

Below we will observe the main aspects of the draft which is available for consultation and comment:

Legal entities that acquire the Geothermal Registry prepared and required by the MME will be able to carry out the activity of exploiting geothermal resources; this person will be called the Developer. This Register is independent of each activity, that is, a Register will be required for the exploration activity and another Register for the exploitation activity.

The MME will carry out a Geothermal Registry which will be updated periodically, allowing the analysis of areas for exploration and exploitation activities, protected areas and full compliance with obligations.

The activities of will be divided into two stages, the first is the exploration and second in the exploitation of geothermal resources. To this end, the MEM will subsequently issue a regulation of technical conditions that indicate the requirements and obligations to be met for the proper implementation of the activities.

In the case of exploration activity, the Developer must request the corresponding registration with the MME. To do so, the project must meet the following requirements:

  • Have the registration of the electric power generation project in Phase 1, issued by the Mining and Energy Planning Unit (UPME), along with all the information that was sent to that entity to advance that registration.
  • Contribute an Analysis of the area that the Developer intends to be delimited as an Exploration Area in the tool that will be determined for this purpose.
  • Submit a detailed report on the exploratory activities to be developed in the Exploration Area and in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations on Technical Conditions.

The MME or through the entity it delegates, will review the applications for registration of projects. In case of overlapping or plurality of applications for a given exploration area, the one that was submitted first will prevail. When the application has been submitted incompletely or does not comply with the technical requirements, parameters, standards and other applicable conditions, the MME or the delegating entity shall reject the application.

In the case of exploitation activity, the Developer must request the respective registration with the MME. To do so, the project must comply with the following:

  • To have the registration of the project in Phase 2 of the Mining and Energy Planning Unit - UPME, together with the information that was sent to that entity to advance that registration.
  • Contribute an analysis of the area provided by the Developer to be delimited in the tool determined for this purpose.
  • Present a detailed report on the exploitation activities for the generation to be developed according to the established in the Regulation of technical conditions

It is also proposed that the Register of Exploitation can only be used to generate electricity from geothermal energy. Furthermore, it is proposed that the project already has the corresponding Exploration Register and thus demonstrate the existence of the Geothermal Resource in the requested area.

Exploration and exploitation projects of the geothermal resource must obtain all permits and licenses before the corresponding authorities in order to mitigate environmental impacts.

The Colombian Geological Service will determine the methodology in which the Developers will provide the information corresponding to their projects for their adequate verification and compliance.

Both the exploration and exploitation registers may be subject to assignment with the prior authorization of the MME. The duration of the registers is pending definition by the MME.

The MME will establish a transitional mechanism for existing projects in Colombia that have advanced exploratory activities of Geothermal Resources to generate energy.


Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Dec 14, 2020

Super information. Geo Thermal is a great resource in many areas. EVen in upstate NY where I lived for many years. A large Jesuit Lemoyne College added a Geo Thermal system. It is very cold and over cast there yet the ground is almost always 68F. It cooled the campus buildings in summer and provided warmth in the long cold winter. It saved lots of money and reduced pollution for all. What a great example of Geo Thermal.    


Geothermal Manual.qxp - NYSERDA › Files › EERP › Residential › ge...


Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY . ... source or geothermal, heating and cooling system. It describes the system and ... LeMoyne College. Syracuse.

Hemberth Suarez's picture
Thank Hemberth for the Post!
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