Economy February 5, 2015 | 9:21 am

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Dominican Republic US$2.0B on coal plants ‘historic mistake’

Santo Domingo.- While Dominican Republic spends more than US$2.0 billion to build two coal plants, international energy expert José Luis Cordeiro calls the investment is a historic mistake since that fue is an issue that should’ve been deal with 20 years ago, since renewable energy is the trend in electricity production.

"This is a historic mistake for the new generation. The older generation has already capitalized on these investments, but for the new one it’s no longer profitable. Today is not really profitable, and even less in Dominican Republic’s case since it has to import coal. If you have a free sun, why are you going to import coal, and an old technology," he said.

Cordeiro said the country should "open its eyes" because it could be not only energy independent but an exporter, because it has a geographical position where the sun and the wind abound. “Dominican Republic could be the Saudi Arabia of the Caribbean in solar energy production.”

He said last year’s statistics for the US and California on new power generation lists nothing about coal.

He said currently the energy is basically solar, wind, geothermal and natural gas, the latter fuel which he affirms could no longer figure in new additional generation within five years. "There’ll be no new generation from natural gas or coal. Coal is no longer used, of course, for old ones yes, but no new generation with coal in the United States."

He said oil’s current low price is a combination of factors, starting with the US increase of its production by three million barrels, which has made the country nearly self-sufficient and can even export. "Solar energy is changing exponentially as cellular phones. If someone says that solar panels were expensive two years ago, it’s true, but in two years they will be much cheaper than any type of fossil fuel to generate power,"

The Venezuela-born expert, invited speaker at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmchamDR) monthly luncheon, added that what’s occurring these days is the onset of fossil fuels’ death.

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