Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 4, 2009
Novel ideas for improving energy efficiency and expanding access to renewable energy in Latin American and Caribbean countries will receive up to $200,000 in financing through a contest jointly launched by the Inter-American Development Bank, GVEP International, GTZ and the Korean government.

The Energy Innovation Contest seeks to jump-start the development of novel solutions to the energy shortages afflicting the region, particularly in rural and low income areas. It will award a total of between US$4 million and US$6 million over the next three years to multiple projects, with a maximum of $200,000 per proposal.

Over the next month, a regional marketing campaign based on the slogan “What’s your bright idea?” will urge organizations and individuals based in Latin American and Caribbean countries to submit proposals to the contest. Non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, companies, foundations, think tanks, universities or development agencies may apply singly, or in partnership with entities based outside the region.

The criteria for evaluation include degree of innovation, developmental impact (economic, social, environmental), scalability, replicability, financial sustainability, institutional capability and the quality of the proposal, implementation strategy and projected risks.

Proposals must be submitted by May 15, 2009, and the winners will be announced in August.

GVEP International is a UK-based NGO working to accelerate and improve access to energy among poor populations in developing countries. GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH) is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development.

The Korean Government is an active supporter of efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean towards improving energy access, efficiency, and producing renewable energy.