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Guatemala eyed for resource potential

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- New Zealand's World Energy Research said it grabbed construction and purchase agreements for three hydroelectric facilities in Guatemala.

Energy investment company World Energy Research said it was interested in exploring the untapped resource potential in Guatemala. The company said the Central American nation is rich in renewable and non-renewable resources, but only a fraction of the full potential has been accessed.

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The company announced it was interested in exploring solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy in Guatemala. The resource potential is sufficient to meet the energy demands of the region, WER said.

Solar power alone could meet the regional energy needs for the next five years through an estimated potential of 5.3 kWh per day for every three square feet used.

Through a research and development program at 18 offshore and onshore projects, WER said it could develop 10,900 megawatts of hydroelectric power, 7,800 MW of wind and 1,000 MW of geothermal power as well.

"Our research and development work in the country is turning up new ways to make Guatemala energy self-sufficient in the near future," a company statement read.

The hydroelectric contracts were secured with the support of the Guatemalan government. WER said it expects to open the other projects for investments in the near future.

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