Brussels, 1 December 2010
Commissioner Hedegaard's video conference with inhabitants of one of the 600 isolated rural communities benefiting from the EURO-SOLAR regional Programme for Latin America
On 1st December Commissioner Hedegaard, together with his Excellency Jorge Valdez, Ambassador of Peru to the European Union, will participate in a video conference in Brussels with representatives of the Sancayuni in Peru, a local community based on an island of the Titicaca Lake and benefiting from the EURO-SOLAR Programme.
EURO-SOLAR is a regional cooperation programme financed by the European Commission and eight countries in Latin America.
The programme, implemented under Commissioner Piebalgs' responsibilities, with a total budget of € 35.8 million, provides six hundred isolated rural communities, without access to the electricity grid, with rural electrification systems based on renewable energy (solar panels and wind generators). These systems supply electricity to these communities for: computers, Internet connection, telephones, printers/scanners, projectors, battery chargers, water purifiers, medical refrigeration equipment and lighting.
The direct programme beneficiaries are 300,000 inhabitants of the 600 benefiting communities which will become the owners of and people responsible for the equipment.
Commissioner Hedegaard and his Excellency Jorge Valdez, Ambassador of Peru to the European Union, will have the opportunity to ask questions and answer queries from members of Sancayuni community.
The video conference will link one of the press conference rooms of the European Commission in Brussels and this rural community located on the Amantani island in the Titicaca Lake. This first video link, unthinkable only some months back, was possible thanks to the means provided by EURO-SOLAR. The Sancayuni will speak about their experiences and the great expectations of improvements in their lives. The arrival of clean energy is promising, as is the advance of basic services such as education and health as well as the communication with the outside world and the development of productive activities.
Until the arrival of the programme, the inhabitants of Sancayuni could not count on any kind of energy supply. Today, the inhabitants of this and the other benefiting communities of the programme have a source of clean and sustainable energy, access to new technologies as well as dedicated training and continuous support leading to the result that the new users can profit in an ideal way, sustainable and adapted to their culture, from everything the EURO-SOLAR programme can offer its communities regarding local and integrated development.
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