Peru: solar power for 500,000 households

One of the landmarks of Peru: the Inca site Machu Picchu. (Photo: Pixabay/LoggaWiggler)
One of the landmarks of Peru: the Inca site Machu Picchu. (Photo: Pixabay / LoggaWiggler)

Peru’s new National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will cost about US$ 200 million and supply half a million households with solar electricity. The country will install approximately 12,500 photovoltaic systems to combat the low electrification rate in rural regions.

With a population of 28 million (2015 estimate: 30 million), Peru is the third largest country in South America, but it has one of the lowest rural electrification rates in Latin America: 30 %. This means that more than six million people do not have access to electricity. In 2006, overall 79 % of the population in Peru had access to electricity, a percentage that is below the average of 94.6 % of Latin America and the Carribbean region.

Jorge Merino, the Energy and Mining Minister of Peru explained: “This programme is aimed at the poorest people, those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health." The programme will hopefully ensure that 95 % of the population will have access to electricity by the end of 2016. After the first part of the programme, which began in July 2014, is completed, bidding for the rest of the installation contracts will start. Surplus solar electricity not needed by Peruvian citizens will be auctioned off.

Tanja Peschel

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