Nicaragua Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

The mining industry is comprised of gold, silver, salt, marble and other broken stones and sand. Only gold and silver provide some major export revenue. The mining sector was nationalized during the revolution in 1979. After the Sandinists’ election loss in 1990, foreign companies were again allowed to exploit the mines, which led to private investment and increased production.

Nicaragua is dependent on imported oil for its electricity generation. Imported oil gets Nicaragua through the oil partnership, Petrocaribe, which Nicaragua has had with Venezuela since 2007. The cooperation means that Nicaragua can buy Venezuelan oil at favorable prices or in exchange for goods and services.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Nicaragua with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Just over two-thirds of the electricity consumed by the country is produced by oil. In 2010, approximately 14 percent of the electricity was produced in domestic hydropower plants and 8 percent was extracted from geothermal heat from the volcanoes. A new hydroelectric plant is planned on the river Río Grande in eastern Nicaragua.

About a quarter of the country’s area is covered by forest, a proportion that has gradually decreased due to harvesting. There are at least 65 commercially viable tree species, such as mahogany. In the 1990s, private companies were granted permission to cut down forests. The authorities have tried to prevent too much forest harvesting, but illegal logging is occurring and, according to media information, has increased due to increased demand for timber from China. In 2012, the government sent out an “ecological battalion” with close to 600 soldiers to fight the illegal logging.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, NI stands for Nicaragua. Visit itypeusa for more information about Nicaragua.


Energy use per person

609 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

580 kWh, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

4 862 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

0.8 tonnes (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

48.2 percent (2015)



Demonstration against “pilgrimage”

Thousands of Nicaraguan people march in Managua in a protest against the election they call a “father”.


Ohotad Ortega wins big

November 6

President Ortega and Vice Presidential candidate Rosario Murillo, Ortega’s wife, receive support from 72.5 percent of voters in the presidential election, while Maximino Rodríguez comes in a distant second place with 14 percent. The opposition calls the election a father’s and the United States expresses concern over an election process with major democratic shortcomings. In the parliamentary elections, FSLN receives 70 of the 90 seats, while PLC gets 13, ALN and PLI receive 2 each and the remaining 3 seats go to small parties. The two extra seats in the National Assembly (see Political system) go to Maximino Rodríguez and to the outgoing Vice President Omar Halleslevens.


Opinion measurements give Ortega the lead

Measurements indicate that it will be an easy victory for Ortega and Murillo as president and vice president. The social programs launched by the Sandini government guarantee strong support among the country’s poor.

OAS may send observers

October 25th

In a reversal of previous decisions (see June 2016), Ortega says that the US-based OAS may send representatives to Nicaragua in connection with the election.


Asylum for Salvadoran ex-president

September 6

Mauricio Funes, who was El Salvador’s president from 2009–2014, has spent three months in Nicaragua and is now granted asylum when his life is deemed to be threatened. Funes is accused of corruption and misappropriation of assets. He has had his assets frozen in his home country.


Call for election boycott

August 16th

The opposition alliance CND urges voters to boycott the elections in November, alternatively to vote blank. CND accuses Ortega of trying to create a “dictator dynasty”.

Ortega’s wife vice presidential candidate

August 2

The President announces that Rosario Murillo is his candidate for the Vice Presidential post. She already has great influence as a leading government spokesperson and often appears on TV where she advocates her own version of new age spirituality.


MPs deposed

July 28

The CSE Election Authority orders that 16 regular members of the National Assembly and 12 deputies, all members of the PLI, be suspended since they refused to recognize Pedro Reyes as new party leader (see June 2016). The National Assembly votes the following day according to CSE’s order. Among those being kicked are Reye’s representative Montealegre. The dominance of the FSLN is now almost total in the National Assembly.


Election boycott and protest movement

June 22

The opposition alliance CND decides to boycott the presidential election in November and launches a protest movement, “Citizens for Freedom”. The message comes since HD in practice prevented PLI and PAC from participating and Ortega announced that foreign observers will not be allowed. HD has also been shut down by Callejas from the presidential election.

Americans expelled

June 16

The US State Department states that three Americans on official assignment have been forced to leave Nicaragua, saying that the “baseless” deportation could harm bilateral relations.

PLC appoints presidential candidate

June 14

Maximino Rodríguez becomes the name of the Conservative party in the presidential election.

HD re-furnishes in opposition party

June 8

The Supreme Court dismisses Eduardo Montealegre from the post of leader of PLI, the dominant opposition party, and replaces him with Pedro Reyes Vallejos. The court orders the PLI to hold a party convention as soon as possible. Montealegre claims that the decision constitutes a “coup” and that President Ortega is behind it. Reyes is a relatively unknown politician who is close to Ortega. Montealegre took over the helm in PLI 2014 after the former party leader was deposed via court. The legal battle within the party has since continued up to HD.

Ortega presidential candidate

June 5

The FSLN unanimously appoints President Ortega as its candidate in the November elections. Opinion polls show leadership for Ortega, supported by 57 percent of voters, well ahead of PLI’s Luis Callejas.


The opposition appoints presidential candidate

May 13th

Opposition Alliance The National Democracy Coalition (CND) appoints Luis Callejas as its candidate in the presidential election. Callejas is a member of the National Assembly for PLI.


mass Pardons

February 23

More than 8,000 prisoners have been released conditionally since 2014 to reduce congestion in prisons, the government says. These are prisoners sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison. It is not clear how many prisoners are now left.

Nicaragua Energy and Environment Facts

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