La Guajira, a region of great natural and cultural wealth, has witnessed a growing interest in the implementation of wind projects as an alternative to meet Colombia’s energy demands. According to the Mining-Energy Planning Unit (UPME), La Guajira is projected to host up to 45 wind farms by 2034, most located within the collective territory of the Wayuu Indigenous people. The progress of wind energy in La Guajira is not merely a matter of technical or economic feasibility but also a question of social acceptance, largely dependent on the quality of the consultation process and relationship-building between the developing companies and the Wayuu Indigenous communities.
The authors of this report identify enabling factors of social acceptance of wind energy projects in this context and, more broadly, of a just energy transition in La Guajira. The findings represent insights gained from activities conducted during 2023, namely a workshop held by SEI and the University of La Guajira in the municipality of Uribia, La Guajira, with members of the Wayuu people and representatives of the municipal public sector. The research also included extensive fieldwork in communities surrounding wind farm locations and associated infrastructure, such as transmission lines, and a total of 45 semi-structured interviews with various relevant stakeholders, including developers, academia, civil society and the national and regional public sector.
This report opens with the relevant context, including facets of the Colombian electricity sector, La Guajira department and the right to free, prior and informed consultation (FPIC). The authors then describe eight enabling factors of social acceptance of wind energy in La Guajira that they identified during the research, closing with their main conclusions.
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