Fundación Eléutera has driven reform of the energy market in Honduras since 2014, helping usher through major legislation that ended the state-run monopoly. Since the legislation passed, Eléutera has partnered with the board of the Electricity System Operator for the government of Honduras (ODS) to help increase access to things like electricity in private homes and cell-phone service throughout the country.
Honduras, a small and developing nation, is ripe for reform. However, weak government institutions have slowed down the reform process and have contributed to a high poverty rate. Fundación Eléutera takes a multifaceted stance towards reform to seize windows of opportunity, and make change that truly benefits citizens.
Guillermo Peña Panting, the executive director of Fundación Eléutera, describes Eléutera’s role in creating reform across all spectrums of the political world in Honduras, most notably the energy market: “By being engaged in the economy in different ways and having different actors from education, to migration, to the energy sector, now we see many opportunities that come clear to us then if we’re only doing things from the academic or research side.”
Since the opening of the Honduran energy market in 2014, Fundación Eléutera has championed policy research for a new energy law that was passed by congress in 2015, and has worked tirelessly to advocate for a more free and open energy market and build trust in the new system. In addition to policy research, Fundación Eléutera is leading a thorough public education campaign with the goal of building trust between the citizens of Honduras and the private energy market.
Even though the Eléutera-backed reform passed in 2014, it took until June of 2019 to begin setting up the new energy market in Honduras. “Since then, we have been able to set up the spot market, we have ten private generators selling within the spot market. When we got there, there was none,” said Panting.
Additionally, “Fundación Eléutera has had a direct hand in setting up the qualified consumer organization, in which the large users within the system can now purchase directly from a generator in Honduras or outside of Honduras,” continued Panting.
Fundación Eléutera’s work and influence in the energy market alongside their public education campaign has helped change the way the government and the Honduran citizenry views private providers in the market and increased trust and transparency in the marketplace.
This project was supported by Atlas Network with a grant.