Published by: Guest blogger - May 1 2013
by Roger Hamilton*
Haitian farmers are beginning to harvest bumper crops of fruits and vegetables in eroded gullies thanks to the innovative use of humble concrete and rock dams. 50 micro-dams have been built in the Ennery-Quinte watershed, northern Haiti as part of an agricultural intensification program financed by the IDB with a US$27.1 million grant. 150 micro-dams are scheduled for completion by 2013. According to IDB’s 2012 Sustainability Report, “micro-dams can turn wasteland into productive garden plots” providing a low-cost measure for adapting to future climate change. Read more…
Published by: Guest blogger - Apr 20 2013
by Ana R. Rios*
Have you noticed how the climate has been changing? Places where it never used to snow have now seen snow. The seasons are not as well defined as they used to be. The rain does not arrive on time and only lasts for a few days. Droughts are more prolonged and floods occur more often than before. We do not know what weather to expect anymore and when. It has become unpredictable and we have lost our reference points.
Climate variability and change are affecting all of us: rural producers who rely on the rain for their harvests; the hotel owner who expects an influx of tourists during the skiing season only to face the fact that the snow is late or not even coming; the engineer who takes into account river flow information to design critical infrastructure; those responsible for public finances who notice the national income is diminishing due to low agricultural productivity, while expenditures for reconstruction and emergency aid linked to extreme weather events are on the rise. Read more…
Published by: Guest blogger - Apr 2 2013
by Simone Bauch*
The overall impression we have about climate change is that it is bad. Well, it usually is. This conclusion is based on scientific evidence and studies carried out in different locations. So is climate change bad for the Amazon forest as well? As surprising as it sounds, a lot of it is still to be discovered. Read more…
Published by: Patrick Doyle - Mar 28 2013
Only a few years ago, producing power from sunlight at prices competitive with grid electricity was a futuristic vision. But the cost of silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules has declined by over 50% since 2009, they can now commonly be obtained for under $1/Watt1, and numerous large-scale thin-film PV and solar thermal plants are operational. Depending on how sunny it is, the price of electricity, and the cost of finance—a commonly overlooked but important component—solar can compete directly on price in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The cost of finance has a significant impact on solar project economics because solar has high upfront costs and low operating costs. So spreading these upfront costs over as long a period and at as low of an interest rate/cost of capital2 as possible is critical.
Published by: Guest blogger - Sep 4 2012
by Horacio Andres Aguirre Villegas *
Biomass has been used as a renewable resource to produce bioenergy that results in positive energy gains and lower carbon emissions than fossil energy. How is this accomplished?