Carbon offsetting in Honduras: Betulia Hydroelectric Project

Published by Georgia Crump on

Generating clean electricity for local communities in Honduras. 


Colón is a northern region of Honduras that has historically suffered from a lack of access to electrical energy. The Betulia Hydroelectric project harnesses energy from the river to contribute renewable energy to the national grid. This generates 23,000 MWh of green energy every year – equivalent to the average consumption of 5000 families in developed countries. 

About the project

Hydroelectric power is a form of renewable energy that harnesses the power of water in motion to generate electricity. In this case, the power comes from a nearby river. No greenhouse gases are emitted in this process, making it a form of clean energy

Producing electricity from hydroelectric power displaces the need for fossil fuels, and improves the quality of electricity for local communities. Historically, locals have relied on wood as a fuel for cooking and to heat their homes. Improving access to electricity reduces this dependency on wood, meaning that deforestation is also reduced, protecting the local environment. 

What’s more, over $40,000 USD of financial aid and contributions in kind have been provided to the project to date. This improves the human and institutional capacity in local communities for infrastructure including improved bridges and roads, and schools. 

A further benefit of this project is assistance and help to  local stakeholders in river basin communities from donations. This came as a result of three local stakeholder consultations, which are a necessary step for Gold Standard certification. 

This project is certified to the highest level by Gold Standard, as approved by the UN. Read more about Gold Standard’s certification process. 

Cost (USD / tonne of CO2e): $15 (read more about how this is calculated)

The impacts and benefits of this project: 

  • 25,569 tonnes of Co2 emissions avoided to date
  • Reduced reliance on fossil fuels for energy
  • 23,000 MWh of clean energy provided to local electricity grid each year
  • Annual monitoring and protection of local flora and fauna
  • Employment opportunities – 12 jobs created, of which 8 employees have been hired locally from the region to operate and maintain the plant
  • 40,000 USD of financial aid and contributions in kind provided
  • Local stakeholders in river basin community helped and assisted by donations
  • Reforestation of land area: 6,000 mahogany plants to date and 5,000 more plants in nursery development process

Sustainable Development Goals

One of the requirements of Gold Standard certification is that the projects meet at least 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, of which one is climate action. This means that as well as fighting climate change by offsetting carbon emissions, the projects your money is supporting contribute to sustainable development for ecosystems and communities around the world. 

The goals met by this project are: 

7. Affordable and clean energy – Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity

8. Decent work and economic growth – Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.

13. Climate action

Read more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Your impact

You can see a record of our donation to this project on our public ledger. You can also view global contributions to this project on Gold Standard’s impact registry. 

Thanks to the contributions of our members, we are reducing carbon emissions for a more sustainable future.