During the 2021-2022 Zafra, the Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated 1,784 GWh of renewable energy from sugarcane biomass. For this, more than 6.4 million tons of sugarcane bagasse were used, resulting from the sugar production process.
The Guatemalan Sugar Industry contributed with 26% of the energy consumed in the country during the last Zafra, according to the Association of Independent Cogenerators of Guatemala -ACI-.
The generation of energy from the Sugar Industry is strategic for the country since it takes place during the sugarcane harvest and sugar production season called Zafra. This starts in November and ends in May, so it includes the dry season months when the hydroelectric plants reduce their contribution to the National Interconnected System. This helps keep energy prices stable.
Sugar mills are self-sufficient
The Guatemalan Sugar Industry has an installed generation capacity of 992 MW, this makes them self-sufficient in the energy field since they generate their own energy, and the surplus is sold to the National Interconnected System.
On average, 67% of the energy produced during the Zafra by the Sugar Industry is injected into the National Interconnected System to meet national demand and exports to Central America and Mexico. The remaining 33% is used for the operation of the factories of the sugar mills.
During the 2021/22 harvest, the cogeneration plants generated 1,784 (GWh) gigawatt-hours of renewable energy to deliver to the grid; the equivalent of 2 times the consumption of all the Municipal Electric Companies of Guatemala for 1 year or all the energy consumed by the more than 1.1 million users for a year.
With the generation of renewable energy, up to 4 million tons of CO2eq are prevented from reaching the environment each year, according to a study of the Carbon Footprint of Guatemalan Sugar, carried out by the Private Institute for Research on Climate Change of Guatemala -ICC-.
2 Replies to “The Guatemalan Sugar Industry generated 1,784 GWh of renewable energy”
What is done with the ash created by burning sugar cane husks? Is it useful for anything?
Yes, 4% of bagasse becomes ash and it goes back to the field as fertilizer adding minerals.