French Energy Company Total Plans 500-800 MW Solar Power Capacity In Bolivia

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French energy company Total is planning to create a major solar energy base in Bolivia by developing large-scale solar power projects.

The Bolivian government is reported to be in discussion with the French energy company to boost the South American country’s solar power generation capacity. Bolivia’s energy minister Alberto Sanchez has stated that Total is looking to develop between 500 MW to 800 MW of solar power capacity in the country.

The solar power market in Bolivia remains nascent but has significant potential for capacity expansion. The country commissioned its first utility-scale solar power project last year. The 5 MW solar photovoltaic power project was implemented by Isotron, a subsidiary of the energy company Isastur, while Yingli Solar supplied around 17,000 solar power panels for the project.

Bolivia continues to depend heavily on fossil fuels and large hydro power projects for power generation, but both technologies have proven adverse impacts on the environment. Thus, the country needs to make a shift towards renewable energy technologies.

Bolivian President Evo Morales recently stated that the government needs to draft a new national energy policy that would increase emphasis on renewable energy sources. The government is believed to be working to set up geothermal and wind energy projects in partnership with Japan and Costa Rica.

While Bolivia is yet to take measures to significantly boost its renewable energy production, the government is already working on programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. The country is part of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development to promote sustainable land use and forestry management practices.

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