JICA has agreed a US$11 million grant in support of Guatemala’s energy policy. The funds will be used to identify and diversify the country’s energy sources, with a particular focus on renewable energy such as hydropower and solar.
The grant, for instance, will go to the construction of three small-scale hydropower plants in the region of Alta Verapaz, in the north of the country, where electrification is still limited.
At only 41.4%, it is the lowest electrification rate in the country, and less than half than the country’s average 83%.
Three towns are targeted especially: Las Conchas, Seasir and Jolom Ijix, which are currently not connected to the national grid.
Excess energy will be routed to local industries, such as coffee, cardamom and wood producers – ensuring that both livelihoods and industries can profit from the initiative.
In total, 251 kW of hydropower and solar energy will be generated for the region.