Luis C.A. Gutiérrez-Negrín (Editor) and Ángela Prieto (AGEOCOL
Through 10-15 December 2018, the Colombian
Geothermal Association (Asociación Geotérmica Colombiana, AGEOCOL), conducted
the third annual meeting called Geothermal National Meeting (Reunión Nacional
de Geotermia, RENAG) in Bogotá, Colombia. RENAG 18 was composed of three main
activities: pre-congress workshops (10-11 December), presentation of papers
(12-14 December) and a post-congress field trip on 15 December. These
activities gathered around 100 people along the week, most of them young
students and recent-graduate professionals in Earth Sciences, Engineering and
some social sciences. The event was co-hosted by the Colombian Geological
Service (Servicio Geológico Colombiano, SGC), with the purpose of strengthening
the geothermal knowledge in the country.
short courses were conducted the first two days (10-11 December), one on fluid
inclusions and the other on geochemistry of diffuse gases, both instructed by
experts from the governmental company in charge of the geothermal fields in El
Salvador, LaGeo –which was also a main supporter of RENAG 18. Approximately 20
persons attended the courses held in the SGC.
special workshop on the geothermal roadmap for Colombia was developed on 11
December, in the conference room of the National Hydrocarbon Agency (Agencia
Nacional de Hidrocarburos, ANH). It was conducted by Pablo Aguilera Bustos, the
current President of AGEOCOL, and Luis C.A. Gutiérrez Negrín, from Mexico,
whose participation was financed by the IGA through its Education Committee.
Pablo Aguilera presented a general introduction and the expectations that the
association had on the workshop, as well as the status of the current
regulatory framework in Colombia. Luis Gutiérrez Negrín presented the main
features of the two recent geothermal roadmaps for Mexico (one general and other
specific for geothermal direct uses) and the process of their preparation,
which was commissioned by the Mexican Ministry of Energy. He also presented the
main components of the regulation related to geothermal energy in Mexico,
particularly the Geothermal Energy Law, as well as the history and current
status of the geothermal-electric development in the country and the main
workshop also included two presentations from New Zealand, one pre-recorded by
Bart van Campen about the regulatory framework in this country and its
comparative to a couple of other countries (Chile and Iceland), and the other
was an online presentation, through a teleconference about the GeoHeat Strategy
that has been developing in New Zealand. The latter was presented by Andy
Blair, President of Women in Geothermal (WING), and one of the founders and
responsible of this initiative related to direct uses, outreach and
inter-relations with communities.
final part of the workshop was an open discussion among all the participants,
conducted by Pablo Aguilera and Luis Gutiérrez-Negrín. Some of the main
outcomes and conclusions of the workshop can be summarized as follows: i) It is
necessary to define the national geothermal potential in Colombia, based on the
different studies and assessments performed up to now, activity that is part of
the institutional responsibilities of the SGC. ii) The definition of an
official geothermal roadmap corresponds to the Colombian government. It is
recommendable that AGEOCOL continues its efforts to prepare a document defining
the hurdles and challenges for the geothermal development in Colombia, which
can be an important contribution to a further roadmap. iii) It’s important to
take advantage of any opportunity to propose to the proper governmental
authorities recommendations for the formulation of a geothermal roadmap, for
which AGEOCOL can count with the collaboration and support of participants from
the SGC, UPME (the planning department of the Ministry of Mines and Energy) and
other governmental offices.
the following three days (12-14 December) around 30 papers were orally
presented in the main conferences room of the SGC. These presentations were
grouped into four themes: i) Geothermal as base-energy at the national electric
market. ii) Human talent. iii) Science and Technology. iv) Communities. Every
theme had a panel discussion with all the speakers and the floor open for
questions, answers, comments and proposals by the audience. The audience was
encouraged to participate by moderators of each theme, producing wide and vivid
field trip to the geothermal zone of Paipa, was conducted by Jesús Rueda,
geologist from the SGC and active member of the AGEOCOL on 15 December.
the closure of the main event, on the evening of 14 December, the President of
AGEOCOL read the Bogotá Declaration, an official statement of the association
prepared with the recommendations gathered during the event and the results
from the discussion panels, on the current status and possibilities of
geothermal in Colombia. After that, participants were invited to join a closure
reception hosted by LaGeo in the same SGC facilities.
the Bogota Declaration, five main points of work are identified:
- Current knowledge of the geothermal potential
- Human talent available
- Communities involvement in geothermal projects
- Regulatory framework
- Political participation
actions proposed to work on these five points are:
- Establish an action group to work continuously and together in coordinated workshops towards completing the strategic actions.
- Quantify the geothermal resource and the capacity potential.
- Offer ongoing training for local people.
- Socialize geothermal in communities, schools, and universities from the social and academic perspectives.
- Give recommendations to strengthen the geothermal regulation.
- Find ways to participate in high levels of politics.
current Board of Directors of AGEOCOL will work in the involvement of AGEOCOL
members and the participants of RENAG 18 with these actions, for the promotion
of geothermal energy in Colombia.
AGEOCOL also ran its first general assembly during RENAG 18. It was held at the evening of 12 December, and was open for all members of the association to attend. Ten active-members of the association, with right to speak or vote as established in its bylaws, were present. Among them, three of the Board members were physically present (the President Pablo Aguilera, the Vice-President Valeria García, and the Treasurer Carolina Coronado), and one participated remotely (the Secretary, Ángela Prieto). The Assembly was conducted by the President, and the agenda was composed of the reports by the President and the Treasurer and other business, among which was the decision to hold RENAG 19 on 25-29 November 2019 in Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia.