September 19, 2019 marked the start of the first phase of the Oruro photovoltaic power station, the largest solar power plant in Bolivia (100 MW for all the phases) and one of the highest in the world (3,730 meters). This is a first step in a far-reaching energy transition by which the Bolivian government aims to move from an electricity production model based on two-thirds thermal production from diesel and gas to a lower-carbon model in line with the commitments made by Bolivia at COP21.
The Bolivian government has committed to inversing its electricity mix in favor of renewable energy by 2025. Currently, biomass, wind and solar power represent just 1% of total production, with hydropower representing 29%.
The solar power plant in Oruro will be a major part of this diversification and of Bolivia’s low-carbon and sustainable economic development. In its first phase (50 MW), the electricity produced by the solar power plant and fed into the national electricity grid will allow for the production of cleaner energy and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by some 61,900 tons of CO2 annually.
About 70% of the total budget of €86 million for this solar power plant project was financed by AFD (a loan of €60 million), 10% by the European Union (LAIF grant of €8.5 million) and 20% by the Central Bank of Bolivia (a €17.5 million loan).
After providing funding for the Oruro solar power plant – the group’s first project funded in Bolivia – AFD is now supporting the country’s energy transition through two other projects. In the renewable energy support program, financial assistance was set aside for the wind farms of Warnes II, with a capacity of 21 MW and La Ventolera with 24MW), and for a public energy sector loan to support the energy transition in Bolivia.
The inauguration of the solar power plant took place in the presence of Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Línea, Minister for Energy Rafael Alarcon, Minister for Water and the Environment Carlos Ortuño, President of ENDE Corporación, Joaquin Rodriguez, the First Counselor of the French Embassy Dietmar Petrausch and AFD project leaders Dorothée Deckert and Gustavo Zarate.
This project is carried out with the support of the European Union.