Solar Lighting Projects Selected for Joint Implementation will Improve Air Quality, Reduce Greenhouse Gases


Washington, D.C., October 22, 1997 - Solar electrification projects in Bolivia and Sri Lanka, chosen this week fro the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation program, will improve the quality of life in rural communities while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  More than 800,000 photovoltaic systems slated to be installed in Sri Lanka, and 400 more in Bolivia, will provide a clean, renewable energy source for households now dependent on traditional fuels such as diesel and kerosene.

The U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation is part of the Clinton administration's Climate Change Action Plan.  The pilot program encourages U.S. businesses and non-governmental organizations to use their resources and innovative technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gases and promote sustainable development worldwide.  Such partnerships offer the potential to achieve greater and more cost-effective emission reductions worldwide than would be possible in each country alone.

The program now includes 28 projects in 12 countries, representing a diversity of technologies that range from forest conservation practices to power plant conversions.  The projects are reviewed and selected by an evaluation panel including senior representatives from eight federal agencies.

In the two new projects, U.S. companies and a non-profit organization will team with private and public sector organizations in the two countries to install the solar systems in areas that do not have access to the electricity grid.  The projects are:

Rural Solar Electrification Project - Bolivia
This project is designed to finance and install photovoltaic units of 48-55 watts in 400 households in the Oruro and Chuquisaca Departments of Bolivia, which are not serviced by the national grid system.  The photovoltaic units will be used for residential lighting and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by replacing diesel wick lanterns.  The project is intended to test the commercial feasibility of photovoltaic in rural areas of Bolivia and, if successful, could lead to a second, much larger project.
U.S. Partners: GPU International, Inc. (an independent power provider) of Parsippany, N.J. and The Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas of Washington, D.C.
Non-U.S. Partners: The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), Empresa Electrica Guaracachi S.A. (EGSA– an affiliate of GPUI), and the Prefectures of Oruro and Chuquisaca.

SELCO - Rural Electrification Project – Sri Lanka
This project involves marketing and installing 812,000 solar home systems in Sri Lanka as an alternative to the use of kerosene lamps for lighting and the use of diesel-electric charging of lead-acid batteries for powering small home appliances.  The project will build on successful efforts in Sri Lanka to demonstrate and install home systems, obtain consumer financing and provide technical assistance to rural homeowners that lack access to the electricity grid.  Each solar system consisting of a 12-volt photovoltaic panel, battery and charge controller, compact flourescent lamps and hardware, will provide electricity for lighting, radio and television services.
U.S. Partners: Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) of Washington, D.C.; Trexler and Associates, Inc. of Oak Gove, Ore.
Non-U.S. Partner: Renewable Energy Services Company of Asia, Ltd.

For more information, media may contact Amber Jones at the Department of Energy, 202-586-5806, or Luke Hester at EPA, 202-260-1383.  Businesses and other organizations may contact the USIJI office at 202-586-3288.