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Peru: Here comes the sun

20 July 2013

EFE, via Latin American Herald Tribune:

The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will benefit more than 2 million people in Peru, Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino said.

PeruThe program will provide electricity to poor households using solar panels, Merino said.

The first phase of the program will focus on providing solar panels to 500,000 extremely poor households in areas that lack access to the power grid.

Bidding will be opened later for contractors to install the rest of the panels, Merino said.

The energy minister inaugurated the first phase of the project Monday in Contumaza, a province in the northeastern region of Cajamarca, where 1,601 solar panels were installed.

The program will allow 95 percent of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016, when President Ollanta Humala’s term ends, Merino said.

“This program 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 energy minister said.

The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will cost about $200 million, Merino said.

Even if there are the usual cost over-runs, kick-backs and hinky contracts meaning nowhere near 2,000,000 people get solar panels, a program like this should be considered successful. Solar power to SOME people is better than no power to no people.  And that much less need for fossil fuels.


And I say it’s all right!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 21 July 2013 5:57 pm

    Them’s the compromises! It is fascinating living in Peru at the moment. Like so many nearby countries, Ollanta’s government is not popular with the burgeoning middle class. And yet, the biggest social problems they complain of are crime and corruption. Two things that plans like these would eventually play a small part in reducing.

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