Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli stated on Wednesday that Panama’s first solar PV installation will hopefully lead to a reduction in the cost of energy across the nation, by means of renewable technologies. The project, located in the province of Herrera in the Sarigua National Park, is being developed through a US$9 million contribution from Italy’s Enel Green Power. Operation of the plant is expected to occur by the second half of 2013.

"This government is doing a lot for the energy sector because it is the key to reducing the cost of the basic needs and gives more resources to all the people of Panama. I do not understand how previous governments with a myopic attitude just allowed the energy generated in the country [only] based on water and fossil fuel with high costs and destruction [to] the environment. I do not know why environmentalists did not question this archaic policy and previous governments," Martinelli said. The President intends for the current government to continue to change the energy matrix in order to be more competitive and enforce the law.