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United States

IFC funding wind resource mapping in Bolivia

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The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) is providing the money for US-based renewable energy consultancy 3Tier to map the best wind locations in one of Latin America's poorest countries, Bolivia. Dana Younger, renewable energy advisor at IFC's infrastructure department, says the mapping project is part of the bank's work with Bolivia's largest electricity transmission company, Transportadora de Electricidad SA, which is exploring renewable energy resources to supply off-grid electricity and services to isolated rural communities. "Based on existing wind data, there seems to be good wind potential at intermediate elevations on the eastern slopes of the Andes as well as at lower elevations in the eastern lowlands," says Younger. But higher mountainous areas in the Andean range with good wind resources may be hampered by the low air density found at such high elevations, he adds. Ken Westrick from 3Tier says that Latin America's best winds of between nine and 11 metres per second are found in parts of the Andean mountain range, with especially good winds in the south of Chile and Argentina. "Bolivia has good wind potential and ranks somewhere in the middle," he says. The Bolivia high-resolution two kilometre wind map will be available online this year. The size of the IFC investment was not disclosed.

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