Newsletters

2019

December

Natural Gas: Making Power Systems More Flexible

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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, […]

Electric Mobility: Full Speed into the Future

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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 […]

Gender and Energy: Bringing All Hands on Deck

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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 […]

Urban Resilience: Strengthening Survival Skills

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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 […]

November

Greening the Power Grid in the Dominican Republic

Thursday, November 14, 2019
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 […]

It’s Official: Fourth ECPA Ministerial Launched

Thursday, November 14, 2019
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. “Our countries are bound […]

A “Living Open-Air Classroom” on Renewable Energy

Thursday, November 14, 2019
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 […]

October

Building a Resilient Tourism Sector

Friday, October 11, 2019
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 […]

Renewable Energy in Brazil: More than Dams

Friday, October 11, 2019
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, […]

September

The Bahamas Reeling from Dorian

Thursday, September 12, 2019
(Photo: George Desipris) The Bahamas has experienced many powerful storms over the years—even Category 5 hurricanes—but Dorian brought a new level of devastation. As search, rescue, and recovery operations were just getting underway, a Bahamian diplomat to the Organization of American States (OAS) reflected on the impact of the storm and the challenges ahead. Speaking […]

Developing Credible Data on Air Quality

Thursday, September 12, 2019
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 […]

Taking Electric Vehicles to a Higher Gear

Thursday, September 12, 2019
Clean sources of electricity and predominantly urban populations make Latin America promising terrain for electric cars and buses. But so far, electric vehicles have picked up speed in only a few countries. Two upcoming events will discuss the potential for smarter, more sustainable transportation in the region and look at some of the roadblocks that […]

August

The Sargassum Opportunity

Monday, August 12, 2019
The tons of sargassum drifting ashore in the Caribbean in recent years have created big headaches for the tourism and fishing industries, but some entrepreneurs in the region see opportunity. That was the case with Johanan Dujon, who first noticed—and smelled—the piles of seaweed as he was driving along Saint Lucia’s east coast five years […]

The Sargassum Scourge

Monday, August 12, 2019
Say you’re settling in for a day at the beach: Sunblock? Check. Towels? Check. A good book? Check. Maybe some cold drinks, your favorite tunes, a lounge chair and umbrella? Perfect. Giant mounds of stinking seaweed? Not so much. But that’s the nasty surprise many beachgoers have encountered in recent years, as massive clusters of […]

July

Going Green at the OAS

Tuesday, July 09, 2019
Buildings are energy hogs. And when they date back more than a century, they have an especially voracious appetite for electricity, water, air conditioning, and heat. Mindful of the need both to be green and to save greenbacks, the Organization of American States (OAS) is working to cut energy use at its headquarters in Washington, […]

Solar Power at the OAS Guyana Country Office

Tuesday, July 09, 2019
At the OAS country office in Georgetown, Guyana, air conditioning is a year-round necessity that accounts for a large part of an electric bill of close to $300 per month. “The AC units draw a lot of power. They are on all day long, practically,” said Jean Ricot Dormeus, who represents the OAS in Guyana. […]

June

Powering Critical Infrastructure through Microgrids

Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Massive hurricanes in 2017 turned out the lights in Puerto Rico and several other Caribbean islands—in some cases, for months—and sparked a conversation about energy security and resilience that continues today, in the hurricane belt and beyond. Increasingly, decision-makers are looking at developing microgrids to power the most critical infrastructure and services in the event […]

Bright Ideas for More Efficient Lighting

Wednesday, June 05, 2019
Street lighting can increase the safety and enhance the appeal of a neighborhood or city center—but it can also drive up energy use and carbon emissions. Governments around the world are adopting strict lighting standards to promote maximum efficiency and incorporate the latest technologies. The eight countries in the Central American Integration System (SICA) are […]

May

New Mexico Goes All In on Clean Energy

Friday, May 03, 2019
With a new law mandating a full transition to a zero-carbon power grid by 2045, New Mexico has become one of a handful of U.S. states driving the national conversation on clean energy. Ending coal-fired power generation in New Mexico will bring clear benefits—cutting carbon emissions, improving air quality, lowering electricity rates—but it will also […]

Rethinking Urban Transportation

Friday, May 03, 2019
With ever-larger numbers of people concentrated in dense urban areas, many citizens and policy makers in the Americas and beyond are realizing that traditional transportation models based on the internal combustion engine are “totally unsustainable,” as one expert put it. Electric Buses in Santiago, Chile As part of its National Strategy on Electric Mobility, adopted […]

April

Bringing Feminine Energy to the Energy Sector

Wednesday, April 03, 2019
There’s no getting around it: energy is a male-dominated industry. And that gender gap comes at the cost of innovation, according to Kelly Tomblin, CEO of an energy infrastructure company called INTREN and a former President and CEO of Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. In an interview with the Energy and Climate Partnership of the […]

Costa Rica: Doing Renewable Energy for 70 Years

Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Throughout its seven decades of existence, Costa Rica’s state-owned electric utility—the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE)—has had a mandate to use renewable energy. That gives the country a deep well of experience from which to draw as it tries to reduce its carbon footprint even further. In an interview with the Energy and Climate Partnership […]

March

A Testing Ground for Green Microfinance

Tuesday, March 05, 2019
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 […]

Greening a Portfolio

Tuesday, March 05, 2019
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 […]

January

Reducing Fossil Fuel Dependence in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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 […]

UAE Backs Renewables in the Caribbean

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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. The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy […]

2018

December

Island of Barbuda Still Getting Back on its Feet

Tuesday, December 04, 2018
[Photo: International Federation] 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 […]

Barbados Aims High on Renewable Energy

Tuesday, December 04, 2018
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 […]

First Step on the Journey to Jamaica

Tuesday, December 04, 2018
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 […]

November

Creating a More Resilient Energy Sector

Monday, November 05, 2018
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 […]

The Role of LNG in the Energy Mix

Sunday, November 04, 2018
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 […]

October

Going Green in Dominica—Literally and Figuratively

Thursday, October 04, 2018
One year after Hurricane Maria stripped Dominica’s trees of their leaves and turned the lush Caribbean island to brown, Ambassador Vince Henderson reports that nature is rebounding. “The island is looking green again, and I think psychologically that makes a big difference,” he said recently, just days after returning from a visit home. In an […]

Costa Rica: Full Speed Ahead toward Decarbonization

Thursday, October 04, 2018
Costa Rica is already well-known for its green forests and green electric grid. Now, under the direction of a young new leader—38-year-old President Carlos Alvarado—the country is taking on the challenge of “decarbonizing” its entire economy, primarily the transportation sector but also agriculture, industry, and other areas. Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment […]

PCJ Installs 21.8 kW Renewable Energy System at Head Office

Thursday, October 04, 2018
Jamaica’s Energy Authority Drives Energy Efficiency Projects in the Public Sector By Monique Martin Communications Associate, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica Jamaica’s leading authority on energy matters, Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is known for being a powerhouse when it comes to the development and promotion of Jamaica’s energy resources. Established in 1979 as a statutory […]

August

Harnessing the Power of Volcanoes

Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Geothermal development doesn’t always take place around active volcanoes; conversely, not every active volcano is suitable for geothermal development. But what if those two elements do come together and there’s a volcanic eruption? Hawaii is in the process of finding out. In fact, the state’s only geothermal power plant—Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV)—has been shut down […]

Interest in Geothermal Heating Up

Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Up and down the Pacific Coast of the Americas and in the Eastern Caribbean—along the region’s volcanic arcs and shifting tectonic plates—geothermal resources hold the potential to provide a steady supply of renewable energy. Mexico and several Central American countries already generate some of their electricity from geothermal power, and last year Chile opened what […]

June

Paving the Way to Electromobility in Trinidad and Tobago

Thursday, June 28, 2018
It’s easy to understand the appeal of electric vehicles in places where electricity is generated from renewable sources. But even in countries that depend on fossil fuels to generate power, electric vehicles make sense, says an expert from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, who spearheaded a project to bring the first electric bus to […]

Caribbean Bureaus of Standards Visit Intertek’s Energy Efficiency Lab in New York

Thursday, June 28, 2018
The tour was organized under the auspices of ECPA to provide participating institutions with a first-hand experience of energy efficiency testing, verification, and certification. National bureaus of standards officials from the Caribbean visited the Intertek facilities in New York State, where they met with lab managers and experts. Since 2016, the OAS implements a project […]

May

Building Better Power Grids

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, ice storms, solar storms, brush fires, cyberattacks—these are just some of the events that can disrupt or incapacitate an electric grid. But for many countries in the region, it is the threat of hurricanes that looms the largest, especially with the start of the Atlantic hurricane season on June 1 and […]

For a Resilient Power Grid, Think “Micro”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
In most places, on most days, the ability to turn on a light relies on a large centralized power plant, a network of high-voltage transmission lines, and a local distribution system. Most people don’t even think about the electric grid that powers their everyday lives until suddenly it’s not there. Of course, that’s what happened […]

An Eye on Energy Efficiency in Mexico

Wednesday, May 02, 2018
When Mexico first started to focus on improving energy efficiency in public buildings, the most pressing concern was not how to mitigate the effects of climate change but how to cut costs. The government needed to save money, and one way to do that was to reduce its energy use. Now, with energy efficiency at […]

Thinking Sustainably through Green Engineering

Wednesday, May 02, 2018
A new course of studies in “green engineering” offers students in the Caribbean the chance to explore how to design and use products, processes, and systems more sustainably. With support from the Organization of American States (OAS), teachers from around the region recently met in Jamaica for a three-day Green Engineering Boot Camp to look […]

March

National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE)

Thursday, March 29, 2018
The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is implementing a project to enhance the energy sector’s asset management capabilities for operational technology. This project will include the development of a reference design and use commercially available technologies to develop an example solution that will help […]

Harnessing the Trade Winds

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Think of Jamaica, and it’s likely you think of sun. But the country has another source of renewable energy too, in the form of steady trade winds. Wigton Windfarm Ltd. operates the largest wind energy facility in the English-speaking Caribbean, and its training center is working to spread the news about all types of renewable […]

Finding New Synergies between Water and Energy

Thursday, March 29, 2018
Consider these two seemingly unrelated problems: Solar and wind energy are intermittent, and fresh water is often in short supply. An integrated system that combines existing technologies—and that runs entirely on renewable energy—could solve both those problems at the same time, an engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology maintains. And, he says, several sites […]

February

Putting Air Quality to the Test

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Air pollution can have deadly consequences; in fact, it accounts for an estimated 93,000 deaths each year in low- and middle-income countries in the Americas and another 44,000 deaths in high-income countries in the region, according to the Pan American Health Organization. As serious as the problem is, many cities and countries are still not […]

Ports Going Green

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Just as many cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are striving to become more sustainable, so are many ports. That seems only appropriate, since ports are often big enough and busy enough that they could almost be considered cities unto themselves. The Inter-American Committee on Ports encourages sustainable practices in the industry, and every […]

January

Addressing Energy Poverty: More than Flipping a Switch

Friday, January 26, 2018
Think “energy poverty” and the first image that comes to mind is likely a remote village with no electricity. But it’s quite possible to be connected to the grid—even to live in a large city—and still be in a state of energy poverty. In a recent interview for the ECPA newsletter, a researcher in Mexico […]

To Reach Energy Goals, Ask an Expert

Friday, January 26, 2018
As they strive to meet ambitious targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have turned to the Clean Energy Solutions Center for no-cost advice and guidance. Through its “Ask an Expert” service, the Solutions Center makes consultants available to help governments develop, design, and implement climate-friendly policies […]

2010-04-21Nuestra visión es un futuro energético y climático sostenible para el Hemisferio