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Panamanian provider of efficient air conditioning wins Energy Innovation Contest

A company based in Panama has won $172,000.00 to develop innovative air conditioning solutions for buildings in tropical climates, as part of the IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest.

Alessandro Favalli, managing Director of Zernike America Latina S.A, will receive $172,000.00 over two years to increase the energy efficiency of air conditioning systems in large buildings in tropical climates, primarily focusing on old buildings with obsolete systems in place. His company´s solution is expected to provide energy savings of up to 35 percent.

Favalli was one of 25 winners of the 2009 IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest for Latin America and the Caribbean. His prize was announced  recently at the Green Growth Business Forum in Seoul, Korea. Leandro F. Alves, Energy Division Chief at the Inter-American Development Bank, signed the award contract with Favalli at the event.

The Forum was hosted by Hur Kyung- Wook, Vice Minister of Strategy & Finance of Korea, and Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, and it was attended were several ministers, ambassadors from Latin America and the Caribbean countries, and representatives of numerous Korean companies.

The IDEAS contest, which is jointly sponsored by GVEP International, GTZ, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Korean Government, was launched in March 2009. It generated more than 1000 proposals for improving energy efficiency and expanding access to renewable energy, with entries from nearly every country in Latin America and the Caribbean.  A jury made up of representatives from each of the sponsoring entities reviewed the proposals and selected the best based on criteria that included innovation, financial sustainability and replicability.

Over the next two years, the IDEAS contest sponsors will work closely with the winners, providing technical advice and access to other experts, institutions and possible financial partners. The goal is to enable the winners to turn their idea into commercially viable solutions to the energy problems facing the region.

GVEP International is an international NGO working to accelerate and improve access to energy among poor populations in developing countries. GVEP International supports innovation in the design and use of technologies or business models that have the potential to increase access to renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, or increase the productive use of energy.

The 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, bio-fuel development, carbon finance, and adaptation to climate change.

 GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH) is the German international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations that provides viable, forward looking solutions for political, economic, ecological and social development in a globalised world.

The Korean Government actively supports Latin America and the Caribbean’s efforts towards improving energy access, efficiency, and producing renewable energy.  To that end, Korea established the “Knowledge Partnership Korea Fund for Technology and Innovation” (KPKF) within the IDB.

For further information on the 2009 Energy Innovation finalists and to schedule interviews, contact Paul Constance, IDB Senior Press Officer, (202) 623- 2572.

Video interviews, photos and biographies of winners available upon request.

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