Nicaragua - Energy and power

The National Light and Power Co. (Empresa Nacional de Luz y Fuerza—ENALUF) is responsible for most of the electricity generated in Nicaragua. Production of electricity increased from 77 million kWh in 1948 to 2.2 billion kWh in 2000, with 81.7% from fossil fuels, 9.4% from hydropower, and the rest from other renewable sources. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 2.2 billion kWh. In 2001 Nicaragua had a total installed capacity of 645,000 kW, of which approximately 20% was hydroelectric and 15% was geothermal. In August 1983, a geothermal electrical generating plant was opened at the foot of the Momotombo volcano. A new 40 MW diesel plant was completed in 1998. In 1999 Nicaragua's electricity consumption was the lowest in Central America.

Nicaragua is heavily dependent on imported petroleum for electricity production. In 2000, 88% of its primary energy came from petroleum. Nicaragua spent $176 million, or 7% of gross domestic product (GDP), on oil imports in 2001. In 2002 Nicaragua adopted legislation opening its onshore and offshore reserves to foreign development for the first time since the Sandinista government was ousted in 1990.

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