At the start of the project more than 575,000 homes (71.7 per cent) in Bolivia's rural areas had no electricity - a sign of poverty and social exclusion. Without electricity the population is denied equal opportunities of economic and social development.
The project aimed to remove the financial, institutional, technical and human resource barriers to the successful implementation of rural electrification projects using renewable energy technology - Photovoltaic systems (PVS) and Micro Hydroelectric power plants (MHP) .
Because of the socio-economic and institutional diversity found in rural Bolivia, as well as the innovative nature of the project, the experiences in each community were carefully documented and evaluated in order to identify the most viable and cost-effective options for renewable rural electrification.
The project was designed to be sustainable and replicable in other areas of the country. Additionally, the funds recovered by the revolving funding scheme will allow another 47 similar projects to be implemented over the next 25 years.
The project established 22 electrification projects, providing power to 200.000 homes in Bolivia's rural areas. It is estimated that these projects will contribute to saving nearly 21,000 million tons of CO2 during a 25-year period compared with the diesel generation equipment usually used. Renewable electrification will also support and facilitate economic and social development, improve the quality of life, generate employment and reduce poverty as well as promoting the productive use of electricity.