The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the 10 winners  of its IDEAS IV 2013 Energy Innovation Contest, an initiativefor improving energy efficiency and expanding access to renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, following a selection process which considered a total of 563 proposals.
Sponsored by GDF SUEZ, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the government of South Korea, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), this 4th contest was launched in April 2013 and seek proposals that promote innovative solutions to energy problems, benefit local communities or regions, create jobs and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The winners are:
Each winner will receive up to $100,000 as well as technical and business development support to implement or scale up their ideas, as well as access to other experts, policy makers, institutions and potential financial partners. The goal is to enable the winners to turn their ideas into financially sustainable businesses, helping solve the energy problems of the region.
“This is a unique opportunity to move promising innovative energy projects from a very basic conceptual design to a level where the projects could be in a suitable position to successfully apply for loans and/or equity to scale up their objectives,” said Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, IDEAS team leader at the IDB.
“As part of our role as a laboratory for testing, pioneering, innovating, and sharing initial risk to unlock private sector activity and as the key provider of technical assistance in the region, including for innovative clean and efficient energy solutions to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and poor households, the Multilateral Investment Fund welcomes the opportunity to support the IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest,” said Michael Hofmann, IDEAS coordinator at the MIF.
All sponsors noticed that the quality of applications this year was very high and that several other innovative and desirable ideas could not be supported this time mainly because of budget limitations.
What is IDEAS?
The Energy Innovation Contest (IDEAS) is an initiative to support the development of innovative projects that promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuels and energy access in rural areas. It was first released in 2009 and this is the fourth call for proposals. More than 2,300 applications from 28 countries in LAC have been received and 53 winners have been selected so far. For more information see: www.iadb.org/ideas
The IDB presented to the IDEAS Contest the 2013 Outstanding Team Award (OTA) in the Country Strategies and Knowledge Products/Services category. The OTA Awards’ objective is to recognize the extraordinary performance of teams and their contribution to the achievements of projects, programs and initiatives within the IDB Group, and to the dissemination of new knowledge.
About the sponsors and implementing partners
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the largest source of financing for development for Latin America and the Caribbean. Through its Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI), the IDB supports renewable energy and energy efficiency, biofuel development, carbon finance, and adaptation to climate change.
The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF),member of the IDB Group, supports economic growth and poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean through encouraging increased private investment and advancing private sector development by providing access to markets, financing and basic services as well as fostering green growth. The MIF is a laboratory for testing pioneering, market-based approaches to development, and an agent of change that seeks to broaden the reach and deepen the impact of its most successful interventions.
The South Korean Government supports Latin America and the Caribbean’s efforts towards improving energy access, efficiency, and producing renewable energy, including through the “Knowledge Partnership Korea Fund for Technology and Innovation” (KPKF) at the IDB.
The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is a development finance institution jointly established by the five Nordic countries―Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden―and funded by the countries’ development assistance budgets. NDF provides grant financing for interventions in low-income countries to address the causes and consequences of climate change. Funding support is provided mainly in cooperation with other multilateral development institutions. NDF operations mirror the Nordic countries’ priorities in the area of climate change and development.
GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services.
 The Contest winners IDEAS IV 2013 will be confirmed as official winners once they have met all the conditions set previously in the contest.
- Nevardo Javier Arguello