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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Electric Mobility: Full Speed into the Future

No question, petroleum still rules the road. In most places, electric vehicles make up a miniscule percentage of cars and buses in circulation today. But several experts who spoke at the ECPA Ministerial Dialogue on Electric Mobility in the Americas said that changes are already underway—not just in the vehicles people drive but in the very way they think about mobility.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Gender and Energy: Bringing All Hands on Deck

Expanding renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, becoming more energy-resilient, making electricity more affordable and accessible—these are big challenges that require all-hands-on-deck teamwork. Yet too often, women aren’t even on the team. At the ECPA Ministerial Dialogue on Gender and Energy, several women in the energy sector talked about how to improve the dismal statistics and increase gender diversity in this traditionally male-dominated industry.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Natural Gas: Making Power Systems More Flexible

Power systems are changing rapidly due to a confluence of technologic, social, meteorological and business drivers. These changes are highlighting the need for flexibility and resilience in energy systems. This is seen clearly in South American countries that have traditionally relied on hydropower and are experiencing strong growth in wind and solar. On December 13, the last in the series of ECPA Ministerial Dialogues will look at the role of natural gas in a rapidly changing energy market.
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Urban Resilience: Strengthening Survival Skills

How can cities and towns become better prepared for natural disasters? How can they mitigate the potential damage? What can they do to speed up recovery if the worst happens? How can they help their populations adapt to growing threats? What role do education and culture play? These are the types of questions panelists tackled at the ECPA Ministerial Dialogue on Urban Resilience.
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

A “Living Open-Air Classroom” on Renewable Energy

At a new urban park in the Dominican Republic, visitors can stroll in the sunshine, enjoy a fresh breeze, and soak up the sound of falling water—all while learning about how sun, wind, and water are converted into clean energy. The Renewable Energy Theme Park, which Dominican President Danilo Medina inaugurated on November 7, will serve as a “living open-air classroom,” as the project’s architect described it.
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Greening the Power Grid in the Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic—Most of the electric power generated in the Dominican Republic comes from fossil fuels, but investments in wind and solar energy are on the rise. The country’s commitment to produce 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 is “achievable,” said Deputy Energy Minister Ernesto Vilalta. Plus, there’s a growing role for natural gas.
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Thursday, November 14, 2019

It’s Official: Fourth ECPA Ministerial Launched

The Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)—scheduled to take place on February 27-28, 2020, in Montego Bay, Jamaica—will focus on “Energy Resilience and Investment Opportunities.” It’s a theme that will resonate across the Americas, said Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams.
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Friday, October 11, 2019

Building a Resilient Tourism Sector

For many countries in the Caribbean and beyond, tourism is a linchpin of the economy. But what happens when catastrophe hits, say in the form of a Category 5 hurricane? Increasingly, the watchword is resilience. The new Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, based in Jamaica, will look at how the industry can better prepare, manage, and recover from disruptions—not just natural disasters, but other major setbacks too. The question is, as Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett put it, “How ready are you to deal with the most extreme cases that may come your way?”
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Friday, October 11, 2019

Renewable Energy in Brazil: More than Dams

Think of electric power generation in Brazil, and the first thing that comes to mind is probably a mega-dam. That makes sense—after all, two-thirds of the country’s electricity comes from hydroelectric power—but hydro is not the only renewable energy source in South America’s largest country. Wind power has taken off in recent years, and solar, though still a miniscule percentage of electricity production, has started to see exponential growth. Biomass also figures prominently in the renewable energy picture.
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Developing Credible Data on Air Quality

Good policy depends on good data. As cities and countries in the Americas tackle the problem of air pollution—a growing public health concern—they rely on air quality monitoring systems to measure how they’re doing. Through workshops co-sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS), experts who operate such systems throughout the region are strengthening their expertise and cooperation to ensure that those results are accurate, reliable, and credible. That’s especially important when air pollution reaches a crisis point—as it did in Mexico City in May of this year.
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