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IDB announces the winners of the 2014 IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the six winners of its IDEAS V 2014 Energy Innovation Contest, an initiative for improving energy efficiency and expanding access to renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean, following a selection process which considered a total of 282 proposals from all 26 of the IDB’s borrowing member countries.

Sponsored by the Energy Sustainability Fund from Mexico's National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT) and the Ministry of Energy (SENER), the Government of South Korea, the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the fifth contest was launched in October 2014. It sought proposals to promote innovative solutions to energy problems, benefit local communities or regions, create jobs, and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The individual category winners of the IDEAS V Contest are listed below. The consortia category winners will be financed through the CONACYT-SENER Energy Sustainability Fund. For more information please visit their web page.






CASSA – Sustainable social housing




Micro hybrid autonomous power grid of 16 kW for productive uses in rural areas

Waira Energia SAC



Kara Solar: Solar-powered river transport in Achuar Territory, the Ecuadorian Amazon




The sun shining condominium




Ecological biomass stove

FdS Haiti



Using ubiquitous flexible energy loads to provide grid-scale balancing and societal co-benefits



Each winner will receive up to US$100,000, as well as technical and business development support to implement or scale up their ideas. They will also receive access to consultations with technical experts, policy makers, institutions, and potential financial partners. The goal is to enable the winners to turn their ideas into financially sustainable businesses, thereby helping solve the energy problems of the region.

“This year’s IDEAS winners provide an excellent example of the quality of innovation our region is capable of developing. The IDEAS contest – which benefits from the sponsorship of actively engaged donors like Mexico and South Korea - recognizes the region’s brightest innovators and helps improve the region’s economic performance,” said Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, IDEAS team leader at the IDB.

“Contributing to the pioneering IDEAS energy innovation contest constitutes an excellent opportunity for the Multilateral Investment Fund to share our deep experience in private sector development by designing, financing, and executing innovative models that benefit entrepreneurs, MSMEs, and low-income households in the region,” said Michael Hofmann, IDEAS coordinator at the MIF.

All sponsors noticed that the quality of applications this year were very high. Many innovative proposals could not be supported due to budgetary 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. The first round of IDEAS winners was announced in 2009; this is the fifth call for proposals. Almost 2600 applications from 28 countries in LAC were received in five contests.

In 2013, the IDB awarded the IDEAS Contest with the 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 successful projects, programs, and initiatives within the IDB Group, as well as their contribution to the dissemination of new knowledge.

The IDEAS Program is another IDB contribution to the SE4All UN global initiative.

About the sponsors and implementing partners

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the largest source of financing for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Through its Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI), the IDB supports renewable energy and energy efficiency, biofuels development, carbon finance, and adaptation to climate change.

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a 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 and pioneering market-based approaches to development, and works through technical assistance grants, equity investments, and lending to build and support successful, replicable, and scalable micro and SME business models.

The South Korean Government supports Latin America and the Caribbean’s efforts to improve energy access, efficiency, and produce renewable energy, including through the “Knowledge Partnership Korea Fund for Technology and Innovation” (KPKF) at the IDB.

The CONACYT-SENER Energy Sustainability Fund is an instrument created by the Government of Mexico to promote applied scientific and technological research, as well as adoption, innovation, assimilation, and technological development in energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy, the use of clean technologies, and the diversification of primary sources of energy (see:


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