Peru’s poorest to get power through government solar scheme

More than two million of Peru’s poorest residents will have access to electricity for the first time by 2016 thanks to new $200m solar power programme

A new solar power initiative launched by Peru will see more than two million of its poorest residents gain access to electricity for the first time.

Energy and mining minister Jorge Merino said the scheme will ensure 95% of the country has electricity by the end of 2016, compared to 66% at present.

“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,” he said.

The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program will see around 12,500 solar systems installed around the country at a cost of around $200m (£129m).

Phase one began in early July when 1,600 solar panels, powering 126 impoverished communities, were installed in Contumazá, a province in the northern region of Cajamarca.

Bidding for contracts to install the rest of the panels will open later, Merino said.