Belize is located in Central America, south of Mexico. The country is about the size of Hesse but has only 350,000 inhabitants. In the rural regions of Belize, which are difficult to access, there are 47 villages with about 10,000 inhabitants who will not have access to the power grid in the foreseeable future.
Electrification of remote villages
In consultation with the EU, the Belize Ministry of Energy, which was founded in 2012, has set itself the goal of supplying remote villages with electricity using stand-alone systems based on renewable energies. An initial pilot project is designed to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of an off-grid system.
If the pilot project meets the requirements, the Ministry of Energy can replicate the model in the other remote villages with EU funding of 6 million euros.
In the small village of La Garcia, a solar smart grid will be installed with a 25 kWp photovoltaic system and a liquid-gas-powered generator. The operation is based on the Energy Dispenser, an intelligent electricity meter that limits the amount of energy that can be supplied daily and the power available to individual households. As a cooperation partner, the cdw Foundation supports the project in setting up a locally managed operator model and provides support in the post-installation phase.
Energy supply in Belize has been very inefficient to date. The state-owned company BEL, which is responsible for the power supply, has no experience with stand-alone systems, and the Ministry of Energy was founded just a few years ago. The pilot project therefore brings urgently needed technical and economic knowledge to the country, which can significantly improve the overall quality of energy supply.
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