Colombia is bordered to the South by Ecuador and Peru, to the East by Venezuela and Brazil and to the North by Panama. With its 1.13 millions square km and a population of 49 million, it is the fourth-largest country in South America. Colombia´s population is not equally distributed; the South and East are mostly sparsely inhabited tropical rainforest. Most people live near the coast or in the mountainous regions in the North and the West. Colombia has maritime coast with both Pacific and Atlantic Ocean and it is divided into five natural regions: Amazon, Caribbean, Pacific, Plains and the Andean region with peaks up to 5,775 m. Colombia's climate is tropical with little variation in seasonal temperature due to the countries location near the equator. Temperatures vary mainly due to elevation, ranging from very hot at sea level and relatively cold at higher elevations.
Colombia is a presidential democratic republic and its government is decentralized. Colombia has a growing economy and its main industries are shipbuilding, electronics, automobile, tourism, construction and mining. Poverty in Colombia is decreasing.
Colombia’s second National Communication to the UNFCCC identifies the need for consumption of alternative sources of energy and fuel-switching technologies at the commercial and residential level. The country’s National Energy Plan (PEN) for 2003 to 2025 identifies some of the challenges in the utilization of alternative energy sources and promotes the use of energy saving equipment through replacement of inefficient refrigerators and the prioritization and promotion of solar technologies for generation of electricity in non-grid regions within the country. The Technology Needs Assement (TNA) for Colombia identifies the reticence of companies in Colombia to actively seek out new technologies as a barrier to technology uptake in the country. The TNA also identified the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) recently adopted in the country as an important policy to remove barriers to technology transfer. The LDCS identifies the need to encourage production of low carbon technologies by Colombian companies. The SolarChill project supports this priority.
There are several manufacturers of commercial refrigerators in Colombia (e.g. Interhospitalaria, Fricón-Fermat and Martinkas) with different levels of refrigeration specialization. This shows a high potential to extend their production lines and implement SolarChill B production.
37 Colombian health facilities have been selected to obtain refrigerators within the GEF SolarChill Project.