Ecuador - Country Commercial Guide
Electric Power and Renewable Energy
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In 2022, Ecuador’s generation capacity was 8,864 MW, of which 5,425 MW (61 percent) corresponded to renewable energy and 3,438 MW (39 percent) to non-renewable energy sources (fossil fuels derived from oil and natural gas).  Renewable energy is comprised of hydro power (5,191 MW - 95.68 percent), biomass (144 MW - 2.66 percent), wind (53 MW - one percent), photovoltaic (28.65 MW - 0.5 percent), and biogas (8.32 MW - 0.15 percent).  Hydroelectric power plants are located in three regions: coastal (2 provinces), Andes (9 provinces), and Amazon (4 provinces).  Generation plants with non-renewable energy sources are in four regions: coastal, Andes, Amazon, and Galapagos.

Ecuador suffers from major challenges in electricity generation and distribution.  The government announced electricity rationing in October 2023, with scheduled rolling blackouts.  Domestic electricity production fell short of demand in 2022 due to long term droughts and ongoing construction issues at the PRC-built Coca Codo Sinclair (CCS) hydropower plant.  CCS is the country’s largest hydropower plant by generation capacity.  Ecuador’s state-owned electricity company CELEC imports electricity from neighboring Colombia, costing $400 million in 2022.  It is also increasing diesel purchases from Petroecuador to power its thermal electric power plants.  The 1500 MW Coca Codo Sinclair hydropower plant generated 7,202 GWh in 2022 (22 percent of the 33,008 GWh of gross electricity generation).  There are concerns that the plant has extensive and worsening fissure-damage. 

Electricity supply does not keep up with growing demand due to delays in bringing renewable and hydropower assets online.  The Energy Ministry released tenders in 2021 for a 500 MW renewable block (wind, biomass, solar), 400 MW Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCCP), and a Northeast Transmission System to supply the Ecuadorian oil system.  The Energy Ministry has not yet awarded the contracts.  Additionally, the government has not finalized the El Aromo (200 MW solar) and Villonaco II (110 MW wind) tenders awarded in 2020, with required documents pending negotiations.  The GOE plans to build additional hydropower plant capacity in the West where rainfall is plentiful to offset droughts in the East, but this capacity has not fully come online.  Ecuador has eight large scale hydropower plants in the East with 3,885 MW of installed capacity.  This includes Coca Codo Sinclair (1500 MW) and Paute Molino (1,100 MW).  In the West, Ecuador awarded in 2010 a PRC-Russian consortium the construction contract to build the Toachi Pilaton plant (254 MW), which is six years behind schedule and is still not operational.

Ecuador urgently needs to accelerate new investments in power generation capacity and diversify its electricity sources given a heavy reliance on hydropower.  Electricity demand grows by 200 MW every year, meaning Ecuador should add 250 MW or 300 MW of new power generation each year.  However, Ecuador has added minimal additional generation in the last three years.  Recent additions include:  Delsi Tanisagua Hydro Power Plant (180MW), Minas San Francisco Hydro Power Plant (270MW), the Sabanilla Hydro Power Plant (30MW), the Sarapullo Power Plant (49MW), and the Minas de Huascachaca Wind Project (50MW). 

Ecuador is experiencing power generation shortages in 2023, and analysts expect them to extend to 2024.  The Energy Ministry and CELEC plan to issue tenders to add additional generation.  Future projects under consideration include hydro, geothermal, wind, and biomass.  Imports of electric power generation equipment benefit from the relative proximity of Ecuador to the United States. 

Leading Sub-Sector

  • Power, distribution, and specialty transformers
  • Quick set up power generation facilities
  • LNG
  • Solar panels
  • Wind turbines
  • Motors
  • Industrial controls
  • Combine cycle gas turbines, steam, gas, and hydraulic turbines
  • Turbine generator sets
  • Sediment cleanup equipment
  • Steam boilers and mixed boilers
  • Spare parts
  • Water wheels and regulators
  • Turbojets and turbo-propellers


Ecuador provides business opportunities for electric generation given the current electricity crisis and rising demand.  Additionally, the country plans to reach self-sufficiency through clean production and potentially export energy to neighboring countries.

Some important business prospects exist as a result of Ecuador’s willingness to reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase generation through renewable energies, including hydroelectric plants; natural gas and combined-cycle gas plants; and geothermal-, biomass- and wind-power projects.  Ecuador plans to boost use of smart technologies to reduce losses.  


Table 1: GDP for Electricity and Water Supply in Ecuador

GDP - US $ million2020202120222023 estimated
Electricity and water supply1,7891,7521,979 2,177

Source: Central Bank of Ecuador