The Republic of Nicaragua joined the IEC Affiliate Country Programme in June 2019, bringing to 87 the number of countries in the programme. In total, there are now 173 countries in the IEC family.
Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, is bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The country occupies an area of 130 370 km2 and its population is 6 085 213 (July 2018 estimate). Its capital and largest city is Managua.
Regional development in the electricity sector
The country’s electricity production was estimated at 4,5 billion kWh, while electricity consumption was 3,6 billion kWh. While Nicaragua is largely dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation, it is increasingly developing its renewable energy sources, such as hydropower, geothermal and wind. Solar could also be part of the energy mix in future.
The Nicaraguan electricity system comprises the National Interconnected System (SIN), which covers more than 90% of the territory where the population of the country lives (Pacific area, central and north zones). The remaining regions are covered by small isolated generation systems. Nicaragua is part of a regional project, the Central American Electrical Interconnection System (SIEPAC), which integrates the electricity network of the country with the rest of the Central American countries. The objective is to improve reliability of supply and reduce costs. SIEPAC, launched in 2013 with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), continues to develop its energy integration process: a feasibility study for the integration of the Mexican electricity market is underway.
First steps in the IEC family
The Direction of Standardization and Metrology (DNM) will assume responsibility for the collaboration with the IEC and offer support as necessary. The contact person is Denis Saavedra.
DNM operates within the Direction General of Interior Commerce of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade. DNM is in charge of managing and supervising the work of standardization and regulation at the national level.
The main objectives of the IEC Affiliates Programme are to encourage developing countries to use IEC International Standards at the national level and to acquire the expertise needed to contribute to international standardization and conformity assessment work. To meet those goals, the IEC helps Affiliates establish the necessary infrastructure, namely a national electrotechnical committee (NEC), involving stakeholders from the public and private sector.
The next step for Nicaragua will be to bring together its stakeholders to establish a NEC and start benefiting from what IEC can offer to support electrification programmes and ensure electrical safety for the population.