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Guatemala develops hydropower and solar energy grid

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is supporting Guatemala’s 7-year plan for a national power grid, using hydropower and solar power to reach the country’s poorest regions.

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.

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Energy infrastructure  •  Other marine energy and hydropower  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity



johnpeten said

15 June 2010
I have lived in Guatemala for 16 years. We have an excellent power grid provided that you are able to pay for it. The power grid has been extended into rural areas at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. A complete waste of money as the people in rural areas cannot afford to pay for its use. Electric charges rise every month not because fuel costs increase but we have to pay for the extensions of the grid which is not used. Another enormous charge on our bills is for street lighting. Many of my neighbours pay more for street lighting than for the electric they use in their house.
Before people have grand ideas about helping Guatemala they should investigate the situation on the ground here. You are not alone, other organisations that do not know the actual situation have great ideas that do more harm than good.

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