Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Inter-American Development Bank to Promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Entire Western Hemisphere

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United States have announced an enhanced effort to promote the development of clean energy sources throughout the western hemisphere.

Recently the IDB and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) signed an agreement aimed at facilitating DOE assistance to the IDB in the distribution of about $3 billion in funds for clean energy projects. An example of how the money will be spent was offered by IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno who said the bank would propose to the Haitian government a new energy infrastructure aimed at harnessing the island's wind, solar, and hydroelectric potential. He said:
"One billion dollars [for this project] is a lot of money...But imagine what it would mean to Haiti to reduce its burden from fuel imports. Furthermore, this would prove that renewable energy isn't a luxury, but rather a smart way of unleashing human potential in even the most difficult of settings."
The IDB and the DOE are also planning to establish an Energy Partnership for the Americas Innovation Center, which will be staffed by world leading renewable energy experts.

In addressing the partnership, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted the increasing interest in renewable energy all across the hemisphere and how energy issues are related to economic development:
"[The large income gap between north and south] is the most important challenge we face as fellow Americans. What do we do to make sure that we create rising incomes, improving standards of living for people from the Arctic to the very tip of South America? Energy is one of the keys that will unlock what has been a consistent challenge over so many decades. We cannot lose this opportunity."
Established in 1959, the IDB is the world's largest development bank. It reports to 48 western hemisphere countries.

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