Feature: Peru to boost renewables' share to 60% by 2025

By the Potencia correspondent

Like many Latin American nations, Peru is seeking to take advantage of its huge potential to produce electricity through renewable energy resources. The Andean country aims to produce up to 60 per cent of its energy matrix from renewable plants by 2025. This is according to a recent interview by Eleodoro Mayorga, minister of Energy and Mines of the Peruvian government.  

At present, 54 per cent of the country's energy matrix comes from clean energy, while the rest come from fossil fuels. Increasing renewable sources up to 60 per cent within the next ten years is a proof of the country's commitment against climate change.

The minister of Energy and Mines added that wind and solar plants will make possible the increase of renewable production, according to a report by local newspaper El Peruano. However, hydropower stations will also keep playing a key role in this matter.

Mayorga emphasized the importance of energy efficiency, especially talking about industrial and transport sectors.

Peru's commitment with renewable power is a fact since the celebration of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 20) in Lima. During that meeting it was stressed the importance of solar energy for Peru as Eleodoro Mayorga said that it will be installed in the country "500,000 solar cells", PV Magazine reported.

Last year, Peru's energy matrix came from hydropower plants (52 per cent) with 0.5 per cent produced by solar power. The production left come mainly from thermoelectric stations.  

The World Bank is playing a key role in solar photovoltaic energy's growth in Peru. An article by ProExpansion said that the World Bank has financed the energy supply in huge rural areas. This plan, called Rural Electrification Project, is working since 2006 and has benefited schools, hospitals and community centers.

Another article by PV Magazine said that solar facilities in Peru have 80 MW of installed capacity. Besides, there is a new 16-MW photovoltaic plant under construction and the project is currently in the last stage. General manager of Electricity Luis Antonio Nicho claimed that all those solar plants have been developed by Spanish companies.

Non-conventional renewable energy production in Peru reaches 750 MW, according to the general manager of Electricity. Wind plants are one of the main sources with 232 MW. Biomass projects are also important with a generation of 23 MW.

Peru's bet on clean energy sources is based on trying to address climate change and respect for the environment, but there are other important reasons to encourage renewable projects. Solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources are "fully profitable" and "represent the future", said Alfredo Novoa, chairman of the Peruvian Renewable Energy Association, during his participation in last COP 20. Novoa added that to make renewable energy grow the private sector needs "certainty to make decisions of invest in the long term".

Apart from renewable sources strictly speaking, natural gas will also play a key role in Peru's energy sector in the coming years.

This can be seen in projects as the Peruvian South Gas Pipeline. Environmental press agency Info Region said that the central area of the country has important gas fields so this fuel will be transported to the southern regions thank to the new pipeline. The final goal is transporting gas to any area in the country, what needs "a national network of gas pipelines", according to Mayorga. The minister stressed that, when used as a fuel, gas is far less polluting than other fuels as oil.

Mayorga predicted that "we can grow as a country by reducing our emissions even more". To make it possible it will be needed "bringing investments and sustainable employment" as well as "encouraging efficiency and energy certainty measures". In the end, Peru's energy matrix must be pointed towards "low carbon emissions" to achieve the goals against climate change. Not for nothing, the battle against climate change is one of the aims included in the National Energy Plan (PEN).

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