IDB rural electrification program could include hydroelectric power

The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a US$20 million loan to Panama that could include hydroelectric power as part of an effort to electrify rural parts of the country.

The IDB said the program “will promote public and private investment to provide service for more than 10,000 rural households, located mostly in very poor remote areas”, increasing power coverage to about 81% of the country’s rural population by 2018.

The program will offer incentives for grid-extension and off-grid systems, as well as improving the government’s institutional capacity for the formulation, execution, oversight and evaluation of rural electrification projects.

A similar IDB program provided $30 million for rural electrification in 2006.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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