| Share facebook | RSS


ambassador Report View

[September Thematic Report] Peru's Energy Insecurity: The Electrification Gap and its Social Impacts

by Anghy Aquino | 22-09-2023 12:33 recommendations 1

RedacciónRPP. (2019, March 28). Niño de 12 años usa la luz del poste de la calle para hacer sus tareas: RPP Noticias. RPP. https://rpp.pe/peru/la-libertad/nino-de-12-anos-usa-la-luz-del-poste-de-la-calle-para-hacer-sus-tareas-noticia-1188785?ref=rpp 

In the year 2019, the surveillance cameras stationed in Moche, a district in Peru, captured a poignant scene that would soon capture the hearts of many. In the dimly lit streets of Moche, a 12-year-old boy named Victor was revealed, utilizing the feeble glow of a streetlight to diligently tackle his homework. This touching video swiftly gained notoriety, prompting numerous reporters to delve deeper into the story behind these captivating images.

Upon investigation, it was uncovered that Victor's family had been living without electricity for several years. Undeterred by the lack of modern conveniences, Victor resorted to the humble yet reliable light of street poles to illuminate his path towards knowledge. As Victor's story began to circulate on social media, an outpouring of compassion and support ensued. Fortunately, Victor and his family received assistance from their district's municipality and a compassionate businessman.

However, it is vital to remember that Victor's story is just one among countless others, each a testament to the resilience and determination of individuals grappling with energy insecurity in Peru, many of which lack the fortunate turn of events that befell Victor and his family.

The Perilous State of Energy Poverty

In Peru, more than 700,000 households remain unconnected to any legal electrical grid, a situation that has severe consequences for education, socio-economic development, and overall quality of life. This energy poverty not only deprives individuals of essential services but also places them at greater risk of fires, endangering lives and property.

The issue of energy insecurity has far-reaching consequences, as illustrated by a series of devastating fires that have ravaged settlements like Los Manglares in Piura. These impoverished communities lack basic amenities such as piped water and reliable heating, often resorting to clandestine electrical connections or the precarious use of candles and lanterns.

The Impact of Energy Insecurity on Education

For many settlements, such as Los Rufinos in Santa Ana (Peru), which has endured 90 years without electricity, the absence of reliable power sources has hindered access to education, healthcare, and essential services. The burden of energy poverty falls disproportionately on vulnerable populations, exacerbating gender disparities and social inequality.

Environmental and Health Implications

The reliance on kerosene and wood as energy sources, a common practice in these underserved areas, poses significant environmental and health risks. Studies have shown that kerosene users are exposed to harmful carbon black, linked to respiratory infections and other health issues. The use of wood for energy not only contributes to pollution but also directly impacts the fragile ecosystems, like the dry forests of northern Peru.

The Urgent Need for a Clean Energy Transition

While Peru has taken some steps towards embracing renewable energy sources, the progress remains insufficient. Initiatives like the Mass Photovoltaic Program have electrified rural households, schools, and healthcare centers, but the shift towards renewables is still in its early stages. Peru ranks 42nd in the world on the Energy Transition Index, highlighting the need for more substantial efforts in this direction.

The Potential of Distributed Energy Generation

One promising avenue for closing the electrification gap is distributed energy generation, which can leverage renewable sources like solar and wind power. This approach has the potential to reach remote areas and reduce electricity costs. However, it has yet to be fully regulated and implemented in Peru, unlike countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, where it has shown promise.

Challenges and Solutions

Challenges in implementing a clean energy transition include flexible regulations that protect concessionaires, poor infrastructure, and a lack of political will. Additionally, the distribution of natural gas for urban areas is a topic of debate, as it remains a fossil fuel. Nevertheless, it could serve as an interim solution before transitioning to a fully clean energy matrix.

Policy and Social Integration

Addressing energy poverty requires a multifaceted approach, involving robust policy frameworks, investments in alternative energy sources, strengthened community foundations, and municipal coordination. Timely and accurate information, along with accessible technological options, must be provided to residents to ensure a comprehensive solution.

The electrification gap in Peru not only denies citizens access to a fundamental human right but also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and inequality. Closing this gap through sustainable energy solutions is not only an environmental imperative but also a moral one. As Peru seeks to advance its energy transition, it must prioritize inclusive policies and concerted efforts to ensure that no one is left in the dark.

Reference materials:

RedacciónRPP. (2019, March 28). Niño de 12 años usa la luz del poste de la calle para hacer sus tareas: RPP Noticias. RPP. https://rpp.pe/peru/la-libertad/nino-de-12-anos-usa-la-luz-del-poste-de-la-calle-para-hacer-sus-tareas-noticia-1188785?ref=rpp 

Amaya, L. (2023, January 24). La brecha de electrificación en Perú: la fuente para negar otros derechos. Carbono News. 



  • Peru Former E-gen Ambassador Anghy Aquino
  • recommend


SangHyeon Park

  • SangHyeon Park says :
    You have the ability to explain the content more effectively through photos that match the content! I'll look forward to the next article. Nice job^^
    Posted 29-09-2023 21:44

Seeun Mentor

  • Seeun Mentor says :
    Hello, this is mentor Seeun.
    Your introduction about the photo certainly grabs the eye! It illustrates your point about energy poverty perfectly. Working towards energy security not only means lessening energy dependence on other countries, but making sure that all citizens can use that energy as well.
    Thank you for the great article!
    Posted 25-09-2023 18:31

Post a comment

Please sign in