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Author ORCID Identifier



Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Timothy Randhir


Colombia is increasing its allocation of fossil fuels in the energy portfolio because of the national strategy to address periods of low precipitation that reduce hydropower generation and the abundance of coal reserves. These fuels emit CO2, pollute water and air, and damage ecosystems. In achieving energy sustainability, there is a need for studying the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as a mechanism to achieve carbon efficiency. In addition, the energy trade implications drive efficiencies at a regional scale. These two issues are the focus of this dissertation. This research presents these two emerging energy topics within Colombia and its role in the Regional Energy Network as two separate chapters. The first chapter offers a comprehensive assessment of CDM projects' carbon flow analysis and valuation in the Colombian energy sector, considering cost-efficient emission reductions. The second chapter presents an analysis of the Colombian energy region integration, including network analysis, dynamics, and optimization. The key findings of each study are presented below.

CDM and Carbon Efficiency: The CDM projects aim to use clean energy sources and mitigate emissions from the energy sector through carbon emission reductions. The contribution of CDM to emission reductions in carbon flows is not well researched. There is a need to understand the nature of carbon value flows in CDM projects. The CDM study in the next chapter is unique since it is the first study on carbon value flows in small CDM projects in a developing country. Carbon flow value and emission reductions in 46 CDM projects in the energy sector in Colombia are studied. Carbon Value Flow Analysis (CVFA) was applied to evaluate emission reductions and associated values. The results show that the CDM projects reduced emissions cost-effectively and generate energy gains and income from trading of certified emission reductions (CER). There is a need for decreasing fossil fuel use and energy infrastructure through incentives to increase clean energy, energy efficiency, and carbon emission reductions. CDM projects can be used as mechanisms to reduce fossil fuel use, mitigate climate change, and generate profits through energy gains and carbon credits.

Energy Network Analysis and Optimization: Countries in the Colombian Energy Region of Latin America (CERL) have abundant energy resources but those resources are not evenly distributed. They have expressed their intentions to integrate their energy systems, but those efforts have not been successfully materialized. There is a need to understand energy interactions and their dynamics in the Colombian energy network to facilitate regional integration. There are some studies on energy trade for individual countries in the region and research on binational trade of some energy commodities among countries. However, there are no comprehensive studies on energy networks, network dynamics, or optimization for the CERL region. There is also a need to define the optimal energy trade in the region. The second study focuses on understanding flows, dynamics, and optimization to bring information to advance with the objective of a more efficient and integrated regional energy network in CERL. Various methods for energy network analysis include network metrics comparison, dynamic analysis, and network optimization, which are applied to coal, electricity, natural gas, and oil sources. The network dynamics is analyzed as regional trade flows during 2009, 2014, and 2018. The results show that the main nodes for coal are Colombia and Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador for electricity, Bolivia and Brazil for natural gas, and Ecuador and Peru for oil. Brazil is the biggest economy in CERL and attracts most of the fossil fuels traded in the region, while Colombia is a major energy supplier in the network.

The dynamics analysis from 2009 to 2018 shows an increase in network integration for coal, natural gas, electricity, and oil. The coal and oil networks increased in integration, and volume traded grew 1.5 times for coal and a 60% increase for oil. The electricity and natural gas networks increased their integration, but lost volume traded by 75% in electricity and had a 6% loss for natural gas. For the coal network, the main nodes Colombia, Brazil, and Peru, maintain their importance, while the edge Bolivia-Venezuela is inefficient. The optimal electrical network analysis shows that the current network structure is efficient, but there are some rearrangements of the volume of trade from Ecuador to Colombia and to Peru. The optimization of the natural gas networks shows changes in the structure, eliminating trade with Venezuela and creating the edge Bolivia-Peru. The optimization of the oil network shows improvements in integration, Panama becomes a central destiny of trade from Colombia and Brazil. CERL could benefit from increasing the integration and optimization of its energy systems.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.