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The current interconnection lines in the electrical system, as well as the transmission and distribution systems, are based to serve the largest number of users at the consumption site. That is why they are configured around places where a large amount of demand is required, as is the case in cities. Large-scale power generation also requires large amounts of energy resources.
The increase in population, which requires a growing demand for energy and the advancement of technology, is opening the doors to other models, such as generation with non-polluting renewable sources, at the same time that it has become evident the importance of saving energy and evaluating the use of resources.
The existing energy transmission and distribution systems in the case of Latin America do not cover all the existing demand. It has been estimated that in the region, at least 32 million people do not have access to electricity, approximately 8% of the Latin American population. The urban model of dispersed housing, the social model and geographic isolation make the extension of networks unfeasible in many cases. To solve the problem of access to energy for this part of the population, governments have to make an effort in investment and in the implementation of new technologies to solve the problem of off-grid electrification. In this sense, there are numerous programs in several countries to carry out electrification projects in isolated areas not interconnected with non-conventional energy sources, such as photovoltaic solar energy.
An example of this type of program is the Institute for Planning and Promotion of Energy Solutions for Non-Interconnected Zones (IPSE) in Colombia. A public institute that encourages, promotes and develops alternatives for isolated areas, where it is not feasible to get the electricity supply through the national interconnected system. One of the latest actions is taking place in the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, where several solar panels have already been installed in seven communities that are part of the Wiwa, Kogui and Arhuacos ethnic groups. IPSE will continue working on a second phase of this project, which will include nine more communities in the area. Another Program is being implemented in Brazil, by the United Nations Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO) and the Brazilian power company Eletrobras. The program is called "Light for All" and it is taking energy to isolated areas, for example in the Amazon, where it is difficult to carry transmission networks.
Bringing electricity and energy to these areas is essential for society in Latin America, this means narrowing the differences between rural areas and the city and establishing equal opportunities to produce, generate employment, income and quality of life. The supply of energy to this population is also a task of social inclusion. According to the report of the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), approximately in Latin America there are 90 thousand schools without electricity, most of them in areas of difficult access. This widens the inequality in young people's access to communication and information technologies, such as the internet. One of the biggest projects being developed in Latin America to bring light to schools is the so-called “Luces para Aprender”. This project is carried out by the aforementioned OEI, using photovoltaic solar energy systems, which is respectful with the environment and finally less expensive than what it means to bring the installation, supply and distribution to these schools by means of conventional. Therefore, it is evident that each country is establishing programs to deliver energy to non-interconnected areas, but it is necessary, on the part of the Governments, that there are firm regulations regarding electrification in isolated systems, the establishment of social tariffs to systems isolated from network, financing etc.
One of the latest initiatives that arose in accordance with the 100% electrification of Latin America and the promotion of the use of renewable energies, is the Latin American Platform for Sustainable Energies with Equity, with the support of the Avina Foundation, and it is a platform formed by several institutions platform of institutions that work with renewable energies throughout Latin America. The platform promotes the production model with renewable energies, with the idea that the generation of energy in the facilities near the point of consumption is a new form of sustainable business, a port of thousands of green jobs and an important contribution to the expansion of an even cleaner energy matrix.