Support for metering, rural electrification in Ecuador

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Ecuador’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has been awarded a $30 million loan by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for metering and other distribution grid development in rural and marginal areas in order to increase access to electricity in these communities.

The loan is aimed at increasing the institutional capacity of the electricity distribution companies (EDCs) by training EDC staff in the selection and design of sustainable rural electrification projects, as well as financing the procurement of computer software and hardware for the execution units of each EDC involved in rural electrification with renewable energy.

The bulk of the funds, $26 million will be expended on rural electrification with grid extension, while $3 million will finance rural electrification projects where an extension of the grid is not feasible.

The government’s goal is to achieve an electrification rate of 97% in the short term. Although the coverage rate in Ecuador has improved, currently standing at just over 95%, there are still eight provinces with electrification rates that together average 86.2%, or the equivalent of 36,425 dwellings without service.

With this round of funding around 15,500 dwellings without service and over 800 new dwellings are expected to be electrified, and about 1,800 dwellings should receive improved service.