Applaud Solar Power Program Benefiting Country’s Poorest Citizens

Target: Jorge Merino, Energy and Mining Minister of Peru

Goal: Applaud Peru for new solar power program that will provide electricity to millions of its poorest residents

Peru recently initiated a new program that will provide electricity to more than two million of its poorest residents using solar panels. According to Jorge Merino, Peru’s Energy and Mining Minister, this program is aimed at “those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health.” Merino further states that this initiative will allow 95 percent of the nation to have access to electricity by the end of 2016. Currently, approximately 66 percent of the population has access to electrical power.

The first phase of the program, called “The National Photovoltaic Household Electrification Program,” was launched on July 8, 2013. During this phase, 1,601 solar panels were installed in the Contumaza province. These installations will power 126 impoverished communities. Overall, the program plans to position about 12,500 solar systems; they will provide for approximately 500,000 households at a total cost of about $200 million.

It would be difficult to argue that this is a bad move by the Peruvian government. Peru is the third-largest country in South America, with a population over 24 million. Demand for energy in the nation is growing at 9 percent per year. Moreover, energy prices in Peru are forecast to increase. Currently, it is estimated that the country is utilizing only 1 percent of its solar energy potential.

Peru has set a goal of renewable energy supplying 33 percent of its electricity by 2021. Along with this new solar panel program, the country is also home to the first solar photovoltaic (a method of generating electrical power) installation in Latin America. By signing this petition, you are applauding Peru’s innovative solar panel program. This initiative may become a valuable model for providing electricity to low-income households.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Merino,

Your nation has recently initiated a new program that will provide electricity to more than two million of its poorest residents using solar panels. These citizens will no longer have to use harmful oil lamps as light sources in their homes.

It would be difficult to argue that this is a bad move by your government. Demand for energy in Peru is growing at 9 percent per year. Moreover, energy prices in Peru are forecast to increase. Currently, it is estimated that the country is utilizing only 1 percent of its solar energy potential; the industrial and mining sectors consume the majority of electricity.

A signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, Peru has pledged to cut CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions by reducing fossil fuel consumption and increasing the use of renewable energy. Your nation has set a goal of renewable energy supplying 33% of its electricity by 2021. This new solar panel program will help to achieve this goal while benefiting low-income households across the nation. I applaud Peru’s innovative solar panel initiative.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Yandi via Flickr

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