Government to use renewables in rural electrification program

Bolivia's government is planning to use wind and other renewables to complement grid expansions in a $200 million rural electrification program. "In those towns where it is economically feasible to arrive with a transmission network, we will. In towns which are isolated or where demand is low, we plan to use photovoltaic, wind or small-scale generation systems," revealed hydrocarbons minister Fernando Illanes to government news service ABI. President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada has committed himself to providing electric power to 200,000 homes over the next five years. The government will provide some of the financing and has already secured provisional commitments for loans totalling around $60 million from multilateral financing agencies such as the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), German development bank KfW and the World Bank.