CARIBBEAN COAST RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT (PHASE I AND II) Nicaragua has made good progress improving its energy supply. The country’s electrification rate has increased from less than 50 percent in 2002 to around 97 percent in 2019. However, it is estimated that around 600,000 people are still off-grid, particularly in remote rural areas. Nicaragua’s National Sustainable Electrification

and Renewable Energy Program (PNESER) was launched in 2010. The Program’s objective is to reduce poverty by promoting access to modern and sustainable energy. PNESER also promotes renewable sources for electricity to encourage a change in Nicaragua’s energy mix and to contribute to climate change mitigation. As part of this initiative, the OPEC Fund

provided US$25 million to co-finance Phase I and II of the Caribbean Coast Rural Electrification Project. Phase I aims to provide electricity access to nearly 4,000 households located in off-grid rural communities and rehabilitate electricity connections to some 6,000 households. “The OPEC Fund has supported PNESER

from the very beginning,” said Aguilar. “We have committed a total of US$36.5 million to the program and we are committed to investing in new operations within the framework.” Phase II of the project will help improve energy access through the expansion, repair and upgrade of distribution networks in 61 rural communities; as well as regularize the electric power supply in 28 settlements. “When both Phase I and II of this project are complete, more than 300,000 people living f om affordable said

in remote areas will benefit from affordable ces

and reliable electricity services,” said Aguilar. “They will enjoy all the benefits associated with access to modern energy services, making their

day-to-day activities easier and improving their general well-being.”


“I’ve been Nicaragua’s Country Officer since joining the OPEC Fund in March 2017. I’ve been to the country several times, but my first mission was just two months after joining. My first impression was very positive. I met with local government authorities and I was pleased to see the excellent working relationship between the OPEC Fund and Nicaragua – the partnership has been in place since 1979. It’s rewarding to see the impact our projects have on the ground. We’re helping people to change their lives and to make a future for generations to come. The OPEC Fund’s projects in Nicaragua support the country’s national

development plans. In the energy sector for example, we have supported the National Program for Sustainable Electrification and Renewable Energy (PNESER) since it was launched in 2010. The Program’s objectives are to support efforts to reduce poverty through the expansion and improvement of electricity services. It also promotes the use of renewables to both effect a change in Nicaragua’s energy composition and contribute to climate change mitigation. The generation mix in Nicaragua is changing. Nowadays around 60 percent of electricity generation comes from renewable sources. The country has a great potential and the government is trying to invest more in renewable solutions, especially for rural communities that are difficult to reach. During my last mission to Nicaragua, I met an ‘outgoing’ 10 year-old boy who

approached me and said, half-joking, half-serious: “Hey, you took my job away”. I was shocked and asked him to explain. He told me how, before electricity came to his small rural town, he had worked to support his family. He would charge a fee to collect people’s electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.) and take them on his bike to the nearest town with electricity, around 10 km away. He would charge and return them hours later. With the arrival of electricity to his town (as a result of one of our projects), his father has become more productive at work, which immediately increased his household income. The father doesn’t need the help of his little boy anymore. The boy now dedicates his time to studying in a newly-opened school and invests his energy into his own future.”

THE OPEC FUND IN NICARAGUA Nicaragua and the OPEC Fund have been partners since 1979, with

THE Nicarag

the organization extending development finance via its public sector, private sector and trade finance windows. Nicaragua has also re also received national and regional grants from the OPEC Fund to support cancer and HIV/AIDS initiatives, women’s empowerment schemes vario supp

g sector suppo

schem , smallholder farmers and indigenous populations and various rural development projects. To date, the OPEC Fund’s support to Nicaragua totals over US$287 million.


IN Nic in en its p

IN NICARAGUA Nicaragua is committed to increasing the share of renewables in its energy mix. Lauded by the World Bank as a ‘renewable energy paradise’, the country generates around 60 percent of its power from geothermal, wind and other clean sources, with plans to reach 90 percent.


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