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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

A Testing Ground for Green Microfinance

Green finance is not just for utility-scale solar plants or giant wind farms; it can also work for small businesses or even households. A program called EcoMicro—run by IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank—has helped design green finance solutions for small-scale borrowers as diverse as truckers in El Salvador, homemakers in Paraguay, and convenience-store owners in Mexico. Now it is expanding its presence in the Caribbean too.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Greening a Portfolio

At a time when climate change is headline news, it may seem like a no-brainer for a financial institution to offer green loans. But it’s not as simple as just launching a new product. As an official at the Grenada Development Bank explained, it’s important to first understand the market and the technologies available and then identify solutions that will work locally and meet customers’ needs.
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Monday, January 28, 2019

Dominica to provide nearly entire population with geothermal energy, funded partly by its citizenship programme

Construction will be set on the outskirts of the capital city of Roseau. It hopes to power 23,000 homes with clean geothermal energy, which represents approximately 90% of the entire population.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Reducing Fossil Fuel Dependence in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Generating electricity can be an expensive undertaking for small island states, which face such challenges as lack of scale and high fuel transport costs. The challenges only increase when a country includes multiple islands—as is the case with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Like much of the Caribbean, this island chain depends largely on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs. But that’s beginning to change.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

UAE Backs Renewables in the Caribbean

New solar projects are cropping up around the Caribbean, thanks to a $50 million grant fund created by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to promote renewable energy. The fund will ultimately benefit 16 countries, with the first three projects—in the Bahamas, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—now close to completion.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Barbados Aims High on Renewable Energy

Getting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 will be not be easy and it will not be cheap, acknowledged the Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Barbados, Wilfred Abrahams. But, he said, Barbados simply cannot afford to keep buying imported oil. Setting the highest bar on renewable energy sends a clear message that “nothing other than a full commitment to this will do.”
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

First Step on the Journey to Jamaica

Representatives of 22 countries met recently in Miami to discuss some of the topics they would like to see on the table at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). The October 2019 ministerial—to be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica—will bring together energy ministers and other high-level officials from North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean to deepen their cooperation on energy and climate issues.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Island of Barbuda Still Getting Back on its Feet

When it comes to hurricanes, the twin-island Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has plenty of experience—eight major storms in just over two decades, bookended by Hurricane Luis in 1995 and Hurricane Irma in 2017. “It’s a painful experience, but you learn from your experiences,” Ambassador Brian Challenger explained, as he talked about the recovery process still underway in Barbuda. “You sort of develop some ability to bounce back.”
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Monday, November 5, 2018

Creating a More Resilient Energy Sector

In an era of fierce and frequent hurricanes, few would argue with the premise that the energy sector in the Caribbean must become more resilient—and fast. But what’s the most effective way to harden the electric grid, and where’s the money going to come from? How can island nations, territories, and communities accelerate planning and develop consensus about priorities? How can they incorporate renewable energy sources in a way that makes sense to both power utilities and their customers? These are just a few of the thorny questions participants will tackle at the 10th Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), which takes place November 7-9 in Miami, Florida.
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Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Role of LNG in the Energy Mix

Natural gas production in the United States has boomed in recent years, contributing to a supply glut and reduced prices, while regulatory changes have paved the way for expanded U.S. exports. At the same time, technological innovations have provided new options for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), giving countries more flexibility to import this fuel seasonally or on a small scale. For some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean—especially those that currently burn fuel oil or coal to generate electricity—such factors could help change the calculus about the role of LNG in the energy mix.
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