At least 350 families in the Amazon region of Ecuador will use solar energy provided by an IDB-GEF pilot project
Ecuador has made significant strides to increase levels of access to electricity among its citizens. This effort has made it one of the countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) with the highest levels of coverage: 95 percent of the Ecuadorian population has access to electricity according to the most recent census carried out by the National Statistics Institute (INEC) in 2010. However, it is still a feat to provide this service, one so essential for the development of communities, to communities in rural areas.
This is the case of rural families in the provinces of Orellana, Pastaza, Napo, Sucumbíos, Morona Santiago, and Zamora Chinchipe that form part of the Amazon Region of Ecuador (ARE). In rural areas of the ARE, nearly 50 percent of the population doesn’t have access to electricity.
In this zone, the geographic location makes it extremely difficult and costly to provide electricity to families via conventional methods such as grid extension through electricity lines. These families, the majority of whom have few resources and live in very remote areas, do have, however, one important energy resource: solar energy. The goal of the IBD-GEF project is to analyze and implement energy solutions that will allow these families to access energy sustainably.
The GEF project goes hand in hand with a Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) project which will create models to ensure the sustainability of the infrastructure via alliances with Distribution Companies and the communities. The project will also incorporate innovative mechanisms like pre-paid electricity meters and monitoring systems based on a Geographic Information System (GIS).
This whole project will analyze solutions to foster the sustainable use of energy, allowing the provision of basic service to vulnerable families in the Amazon. It will also help Ecuador achieve its goals related to national electricity coverage.
This project is framed within the global goals of the Sustainable Energy initiative for all (SE4ALL). It is promoted by a United Nations initiative that the IDB committed to supporting, an initiative that seeks universal access to electricity by 2030.