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IDEAS Energy Innovation

By Lumas Kendrick 

12Photo credit by Marcia Erskine

Who will produce the innovative ideas that will solve the Caribbean’s pressing energy problems?  To recognize some especially creative energy solutions representatives of various international development agencies hosted a reception at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston on March 17 to celebrate the winners of the IDB’s 2012  IDEAS’ Innovation contest.

Eight winners of the  IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest for the Caribbean were selected by the IDB, UKAid, GVEP International, and the Government of South Korea, following a selection process which considered over 189 proposals.  Awards of up to US$200,000 were offered to the following winning projects and enterprises which promote energy efficiency and access to renewable energy in the Caribbean region:

  • Caribshare Biogas Project, Echos Consulting (Jamaica)
  • Community hydroponic farming with solar energy, The Family Garden (Jamaica)
  • Energy efficient hybrid solar agro-products dryer utilising alternative renewable energy and liquid desiccant technologies, Caribbean ESCO Ltd. (Jamaica)
  • Collect and recycle used vegetable oil to Bio-diesel, N.V. VSH Foods (Suriname)
  • Rural solar acceleration project, N.V. Guguplex Technologies SAC (Suriname)
  • Fuel efficient and clean cooking stoves, Prakti Design (Haiti)
  • Electrification for rural Haiti, B2D (Haiti)
  • Optimisation of the energy efficiency of a bagasse co-generation project, GSR Energy Limited (Belize)

These winning proposals were granted a total of US$ 1,486,000, to develop innovative energy efficiency or renewable energy solutions that have local or regional benefits, provide jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In addition to grant funding, winners are receiving technical and business development support to implement or to scale up their ideas. Another benefit of the contest was that the winners  were connected by the sponsors with other energy experts, policy makers, institutions and potential financial partners. In the coming weeks, Caribbean DevTrends will publish profiles of some of these IDEAS contest winners and their innovative projects.

The Energy Innovation Contest (IDEAS) is an initiative that seeks to support the development of innovative technologies and business models that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuels and access to energy in rural areas in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDEA’s was launched in 2009, and the IDB will soon announce the winners of the latest contest round. To date, more than 2,500 proposals from 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have been received and 53 winners have already been selected.

The 2012 round of the contest was targeted specifically at the Caribbean, with financial support provided by UKAid from Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID).  The wider contest is also sponsored and supported by GVEP International, the Government of South Korea, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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