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Innovative ideas sought Caribbean energy needs

Awards of up to US$200,000 are offered for projects and enterprises which promote energy efficiency and access to renewable energy in the Caribbean region.

This incentive for inventors and entrepreneurs is being offered through the 2012 IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest for the Caribbean, which was launched this week in Barbados.

The contest, which is aimed at developing innovative ideas to improve energy efficiency and expand access to renewable energy in the Caribbean, is being funded by UKAid through the Department of International Development (DFID), GVEP International, South Korea and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Entries are open to applicants from Antigua and Barbada, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The contest launched with a regional marketing campaign entitled “What’s your bright IDEA?” to encourage people to come forward with innovative solutions to energy problems that have local or regional benefits, provide jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Winners will not only receive cash prizes but technical and business development support to implement or scale up their ideas.

Individuals, enterprises and organizations based in the Caribbean have been invited to submit proposals focusing on adoption, innovation, assimilation, development and transfer of technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and fossil fuel substitution by April 30, 2012.

Grant winners will be announced July 15, 2012.

“The Caribbean has great potential for economically and environmentally sustainable enterprises in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Simone Banister, Climate Change Adviser at DFID Caribbean. “Simple innovations could have a dramatic effect on energies supplies, prices and the way businesses and markets operate in the region.”

Energy in the Caribbean is currently produced almost exclusively from imported fossil fuels, Banister explained. “As a result, consumers are paying high prices for electricity, transport fuels and other forms of energy. So far, the use of alternative sources of energy, particularly renewables, has been limited. We’re hoping to help change that.”

“Local innovation and the adaptation of existing technologies to local circumstances are key to boosting the competitive supply of renewable energy services and tackling environmental concerns,” said Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, Lead Energy Specialist at the IDB.

Source: http://www.thedailyherald.com/regional/2-news/27116-innovative-ideas-sought-caribbean-energy-needs-.html



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