Promoting Renewable Energy Through Innovative System Approaches and TechnologyRATIONALE
The combination of stable or shrinking power markets in the United States and increased international interest in private investments created positive momentum for change and an opportunity for tangible results. In addition, Winrock is working to increase the understanding of positive environmental benefits attained through improved management of the biomass resource base. Specifically, to increase awareness in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through improved management of natural resources, including expanded production of commercial energy from biomass, and low-cost carbon sequestration measurement methods and procedures.
To stimulate increased use of renewable energy through:
To advance investment interest, activity focused on limited applied research, competitive grant research programs, general technical analyses, and guided project implementation activities in the field in Thailand, Jamaica, and Costa Rica.
Due to global climate change concerns, verifying the carbon sequestering effect of land use projects led to the BEST project to consider how to monitor such projects in a scientifically defensible way to enable parties to validate their anticipated benefits objectively. This led to the activities:
Develop a new mechanism for developing renewable energy projects by first developing in-country human capacity. This led to the formation of the REPSO network that today is established in Brazil, Guatemala (for Central America), India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The objective of each REPSO is to match global interests of the renewable energy industry with the specific needs of a developing country's rural populations who are mostly living without electrical service.
A venture capital fund was designed to establish a nonprofit corporate entity, the Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund (EEAF). The fund provided financing to projects at rates that would catalyze projects while allowing the fund to cover its costs. The objective of creating the venture capital fund was to establish a mechanism for channeling loans and equity investments to promising, commercially viable renewable energy projects that are unable to secure financing because of size or other non-market barriers.
To open the market for co-generated power, USAID/New Delhi developed a program with the USAID Office of Energy and Infrastructure to bring together sugar industries, utilities, and state governments to overcome existing barriers to grid-connected co-generation. The program consisted of a detailed assessment of the technical, economic, and regulatory parameters of grid-connected co-generation and a set of seminars to share the findings with all parties that would have a stake in the market for co-generated power.