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close this bookSustainable Energy News - No. 20 February 1998 (INFORSE, 1998, 20 p.)
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Off- grid electricity to 1.4 mill. Argentineans

$314 million is planned to be spent for off-grid electricity to supply 300,000 households. Concessions and World Bank are contributing.

In Argentina, a large-scale "Electricity Supply Program for the Rural Dispersed Population" is launched. The aim is to provide electric services to 300,000 households (1.4 million inhabitants.) and to 6,000 schools, medical centres, water supplies, etc., using solar PV, small windmills, microhydro, and diesel generators. The estimated investment is $ 314 mill., of which $ 192 mill. comes from public funds in Argentina and $ 60 mill. is expected to be a World Bank loan. Part of the public funding will come as grants, as it is recognised that rural electrification needs public subsidies. The program will choose from public bids on concessions to deliver electrical services in an area. The technologies will compete on the basis of the lowest cost of provided energy.

The program is based on surveys, one of which showed that more than 50% of the rural inhabitants without electricity are willing to pay $ 15-20 per month for electricity services achievable with a S0-W PV system. In a small village, a survey of 44 families showed an annual expenditure of $ 19,5 per month for illumination end electricity. These costs are comparable to the costs of solar home systems.

Source: Secretaria de Energia att. A. Frabris, Avda P.Colon 171, piso 9, oficina 903, 1061 Buenos Aires, Argentina, fax +541-342 2868, e-mail:, http./www.meconar/energia(in Spanish).