Peru To Provide Free Solar Power To 2 Million Of Its Poorest Residents

by Mandy Adwell on 07/18/2013

in Living,Politics,Technology

Solar power in Peru

Peru has initiated a new solar panel program that will provide electricity to more than 2 million of its poorest residents, Don Lieber over at Planetsave has reported.

Currently, only 66% of Peru’s 24 million people has access to electricity, according to the country’s Energy and Mining Minister Jorge Merino. By 2016, the plan is to provide electricity to 95% of residents through The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program.

“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,” he said.

The first phase will install 1,601 solar panels in the Contumaza province, enough to power 126 communities throughout Cupisnique, San Benito, Chilete, Tantarica, Yonan, San Luis, and Contai. The second phase of the project will involve 12,500 PV systems to provide 500,000 households, about 2 million people, with free electricity. The overall cost will be around $200 million.

Peru has incredible access to sunlight, so this is the perfect way to take advantage of natural resources while providing a valuable service to residents of all income levels. Makes you wonder why more countries can’t do the same, doesn’t it?

Image CC licensed by Julia Manzerova: Solar panels in Peru.
Via Inhabitat via Planetsave


  • Anonymous

    Another thing they can do to give light inside the homes is to use old pop bottles in the roofs to convey the sunlight into the interior of the homes.

  • http://www.bennu-solar.com/ Yotam Ariel

    Here is a comment from Julio (expert in Peru rural electrification – http://www.linkedin.com/in/julioev):

    “The new is clearly incorrect. The electricity will not be free, at least as was commented until now by the energy administration( MINEM). They are planning to install 500.000 SHS before 2016, but this seems to be impossible, because they had no identified the villages and they have no good updated information.

    But their intention is to ask for monthly quotations to the private companies, to invest, maintain , replace and operate a certain quantity of SHS ( more than 10.000 each time)in one area. They will give a concession for a certain zone to the most competitive offer. And they pretend to open this competition in a very short time. The users will pay part and the most will be paid by subsidies.

    In my opinion this is not a good approach, and I´ll wonder if any private company will send a quotation, or will be very high because of the unknown risks because the companies have no experience to do business with this rural isolated communities. But,…we will see.”

    “In any case the electricity will be subsidize, but no free. On the other hand the photo is an example of what not to do, and is not the case of Perú.”

  • http://www.bennu-solar.com/ Yotam Ariel

    Indeed, though it only helps during the day, and it doesn’t charge mobile phones, or power a TV (all high on demand by rural poor, and are address by low-cost solar PV solutions)

  • http://www.bennu-solar.com/ Yotam Ariel
  • Don Lieber

    Mandy Adwell/9 Billion: Good story, and I’m flattered you took it. And, while its more important to spread the conversation about energy sources in the age of 400+ CO2 ppm — wouldn’t simply be appropriate to also credit the actual author of this – or at least provide a link to the original (cut and pasted nearly 100%)? Cheers all the same.

  • http://www.the9billion.com/ John Johnston

    Sorry Don, we’ve added the appropriate credit up front to you and your post. That was an editorial oversight, done more out of haste than anything purposeful. Thanks for understanding. Yes, it’s a great thing that’s happening in Peru with solar. As you say, at over 400ppm CO2 now, the more solar power in the world the better!

  • Erica

    What if it rains? This is far better, more thoughtful approach… just my opinion.

Previous post:

Next post: