Powering Ecuador

By: Kip Olkowski
  Ecuador is actively adopting renewable energy solutions to curb their heavy reliance on fossil fuels by investing in hydroelectric power. The country is also working to establish a more robust means for energy transference that will increase both the overall energy on the grid and the efficiency of the system as a whole. Ecuador plans to finance the new grid through a $150 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank(IDB). Ecuador has been long overdue for this kind of development; the country went through an energy crisis from 1995-2010 that left many citizens without reliable access to electricity. Political instability and inefficiency lead to a financial crisis in 1999. This crisis lead to economic reform in 2000 that included the privatization of state owned entities. Privatization is done through a process known as tendering, where investors can bid to finance future projects and investors can be pooled, similar to crowdfunding. Ecuador hopes to use this new source of funding to produce all of its own electricity by 2022 with ambitions of someday exporting surplus energy to neighboring countries.