|Peru could produce almost eight times as much power just by harnessing the country’s Amazonian rivers (Photo: Alamy/The Economist)|
At less than 8,000 megaWatts, Peru’s total electricity-generation capacity is modest, barely matching four modern nuclear power stations.
But President Alan García’s government reckons it could produce almost eight times as much power just by harnessing the country’s Amazonian rivers, let alone using increasingly plentiful supplies of natural gas, and wind and solar power.
The government has big ambitions to turn the country into a regional energy hub, exporting electricity to Brazil and Chile.
Some of these plans are starting to be put into effect. And they look set to generate some equally big protests.
Last year the government signed an agreement under which Peru will export up to 6,000 megawatts of electricity to Brazil, a plan that would involve mainly Brazilian companies investing around $20 billion. After García visited his Chilean counterpart, Sebastián Piñera, last month, the two governments agreed to set up a joint energy-study group.
A transmission line connecting Peru and Ecuador was built a few years ago, but has rarely been used because the two countries have been unable to agree on a price for electricity.
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