Public-private Partnerships Brings Renewable Energy To The Poorest


A report by IIED (International Institute of Environment Development) states that Governments,

donors & business community can accomplish

to provide poor communities low carbon energy supplies by working together.

This report was based on a study in a program in Argentina that has successfully delivered basic electricity access to remote, rural communities that are beyond the reach of the grid.

PERMER (the Project for Renewable Energy in Rural Markets) has provided a combination of renewable (solar and wind power) and hybrid fossil fuel-renewable energy (e.g. diesel-solar mini grids) to around 10,000 households and 1,800 schools and other public buildings, and is on its way to reaching another 18, 000 households.  

This program was introduced in the late 1990s, when it became clear that power sector privatization had done little to extend access in remote rural areas. Long distances, low population density and poverty meant the cost of extending grid networks was prohibitively high.

 PERMER has used government and donor funding to install generating equipment and subsidies user tariffs, with exclusive delivery contracts awarded to concessionaires (private sector, public sector, co-operatives) that run and maintain the service. 

The program has provided better quality and safer illumination to households at costs that are equivalent to, or lower than, what residents paid previously for kerosene lamps and candles. This enables users to listen to radios or have a light source for studying, reading or making handicrafts at night.