The PREMER programme was established in 2000 as a new component of an existing rural electrification programme (PAEPRA), to be geared specifically to the use of renewable energy sources for rural electrification purposes.
PAEPRA (Programa de Abastecimiento Eléctrico a la Población Rural de Argentina) was launched in 1995; as part of an effort to tackle the lack of access to electricity present in rural areas, the national and provincial governments set up a special fund to pay for rural electrification promotion programmes. The programme grants subsidies to private concessionaires who guarantee, via competitive tendering, to provide electricity to rural areas for the lowest amount of subsidies, even if off-grid options have to be implemented. The concessionaire obtains the monopoly of a given province in turn for the obligation to connect the service when requested by the customers and to maintain its continuity over the duration of the concession. PREMER (Proyecto de Energías Renovables en Mercados Rurales) concentrates on stand-alone generation systems, for scattered settlements and facilities. Consumers must cover the installation cost and provide a flat monthly rate sufficient to cover, over the 15-year concession period, approximately 40% of the initial cost in addition to expenses for maintece and batteries. Additional subsidies are provided to reduce the financial cost for the poorest members of the population, which gradually decrease during the course of the concession. The six-year project ran until mid-2007.