The country of Peru aims to provide free electricity to over 2 million of its poorest residents by harnessing the power of the sun. Jorge Merino, the Energy and Mining Minister of Peru, says that the National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will provide electricity to poor households through the installation of photovoltaic panels.
As reported by the Latin America Herald Tribune, the first part of the initiative is to provide solar systems to 500,000 extremely poor households in areas that lack even basic access to the power grid. The program will provide a massive opportunity for domestic solar installers, and Merino has said that bidding for the contract will open later this year to fix the rest of the panels.
First started in Contumaza, a province in the northeastern region of Cajamarca, the project has already allowed 1,601 solar panels to be installed. According to the energy minister, when the project is finished, the scheme will allow 95% of Peru to have access to electricity by the end of 2016, whereas at present, only 66% of the country’s population has access.
“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.”