Volume 3, Number 6
31 October 2002
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) signed an agreement on 18 September to create the Small Business Initiative to promote the expansion of U.S. small businesses into emerging markets.
According to OPIC President and CEO Dr. Peter Watson, "The initiative responds to President Bushs call for greater coordination between federal agencies, especially in the area of trade and overseas investment. The creation of the OPIC Small Business Center is a new chapter in OPICs commitment to helping Americas small business grow through overseas investment.
SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto added that, This partnership between the SBA and OPIC will help to make sure that American small businesses that want to export American products have the opportunity and resources to do so.
In conjunction with the initiative, an OPIC Small Business Center was opened on 1 October. The center will coordinate OPIC expertise for the development of small business deals through a streamlined approval process aimed at reducing costs for U.S. small businesses. OPIC Chief Financial Officer Gary Keel, a former acting associate administrator of the SBA, will serve as director of the center.
Under the terms of the OPIC/SBA Small Business Initiative:
For more information contact OPIC's Small Business Center:
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Robert B. Holland, III, U.S. Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank, gave the keynote speech at the 5th Annual Seminar on Environmental Business Opportunities at the Adam's Mark Hotel in San Antonio on 15 October.
Officials from the North American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporationgathered at the seminar to instruct contractors, suppliers, and consultants on how to win contract bids from the multilateral development banks.
Despite the opportunities, however, U.S. companies need federal help in overcoming barriers, witnesses testified on 18 September at a Senate Energy Committee hearing on technology transfer, specifically, the role the U.S. Government can and should play to support private sector efforts to achieve sustainable energy policies in developing countries.
Testifying before the committee was Daniel Schochet, vice president of ORMAT International. He raised several points:
Carl Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy; Robert K. Dixon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Power Technologies; George L. Person, Jr., International Relations Specialist, Office of American and African Affairs; William A. Trapmann, Lead Economist, Natural Gas Division; and Jeffrey Logan, Senior Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, all of the Department of Energy; and Sylvia V. Baca, British Petroleum America, Inc., Washington, D.C., former Assistant Secretary of the Interior also testified.
Renewable energy accounted for a small percentage of the U.S. Export-Import Bank's energy loans and loan guarantees from 1990 through 2001, according to a 16 September report issued by the General Accounting Office. Of the $28 billion Ex-Im Bank provided during that period for energy-related projects, 93% was used to finance fossil fuel projects and 3% was for renewable energy projects. Congress called on the Ex-Im Bank in 1989 to provide at least 5% of its energy financing for renewables.
Geothermal power was the beneficiary of the vast majority of Ex-Im Bank's renewable energy loans and loan guarantees in the 1990-2001 period, with five geothermal projects in the Philippines accounting for $455 million.
The report cited several possible obstacles to renewable energy financing including:
Ex-Im Bank is working to increase its renewable energy portfolio. It formed the Renewable Energy Exports Advisory Committee to help expand its support of U.S. renewable energy exporters in May 2002. Karl Gawell, Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA), is a member of that committee. The Advisory Committee is expected to make recommendations to the Bank's Directors at the end of the year. If you have suggestions for actions, policies, or programs that the Ex-Im Bank should undertake to expand its support for geothermal or other renewable energy programs, please email Karl Gawell.
A copy of the GAO report, "Export-Import Bank: Energy Financing Trends Affected by Various Factors," (GAO-02-1024) is available in PDF format from the GAO website.
Solicitations & RFPs
The following solicitations and RFPs may be of interest to the geothermal community.
Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites applications for the FY2003 Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. The program helps eligible groups carry out projects that address environmental justice issues. Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, culture, education, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Preference will be given for projects that are working on local solutions to local environmental problems.
Funds can be used to develop a new activity or substantially improve the quality of existing programs that have a direct impact on affected communities. Of the total $1.5 million available, $1 million is set-aside for Superfund projects only. Awards will range from $15,000-20,000. Cost-matching is not required.
For more information, contact Sheila Lewis, Tel: (202) 564-0152, or see the EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program website. Responses are due 18 December.
StEPP (Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline). The StEPP (Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline) Foundation, is looking for projects with significant and measurable environmental benefits to fund across the country. Established in July 2001, the StEPP Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to increase the number of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and pollution prevention projects implemented at the local, state, and national levels.
Funding is provided to a limited number of projects, in one-year to three-year time frames. Projects must meet a minimum funding requirement of $25,000. The Foundation conducts a project selection process several times during the year, in search of projects to best match the requirements of funding sources.
For more information, see the StEPP Foundation's website.
Sponsored by the Colorado Coalition for New Energy Technologies (CCNET) and the Colorado Environmental Business Alliance (CEBA), this breakfast meeting will feature presentations by venture capital experts on how to access financing for energy and environmental businesses of all sizes. This briefing will take place at 7:30 a.m. at Racines Restaurant, 850 Bannock Street. Admission will be $15 for members of CCNET and CEBA and $25 for nonmembers. The cost of breakfast and all materials is included in the price.
The conference will address current and future energy-related issues and discuss solutions. Government representatives, along with all sectors of the energy industry, e.g., oil, natural gas, geothermal, solar, wind, and hydropower, will present new ideas, technologies, products, and services that will benefit the entire energy industry.
The Idaho Energy Division is organizing a geothermal trade mission to Nevada specifically slated for elected and appointed officials and staff to learn more about geothermal energy and how Idaho can benefit from its geothermal resources. Participants will tour two geothermal power plants and an onion drying facility in Fallon, and conduct roundtable discussions with Nevada state and local officials, regulators, and staff from public utilities. There is limited space available for others to participate in this trip. Confirmation of participation is required by 1 November.
Sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), 11 high-level Vietnamese officials will visit potential sources of equipment 14-26 November in New York and South Carolina for major power generation projects at Ca Mau and Uong Bi, Vietnam. A business briefing will be held on 22 November in New York City.
Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans will lead a senior-level business development mission to Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile. The focus of the mission will be to help U.S. companies explore business opportunities in Peru, the Andean Region, and Chile. The delegation will include approximately 15 U.S.-based senior executives of small, medium, and large U.S. firms representing, but not limited to the following sectors: energy, services, machinery and equipment, information and communication technologies. The application deadline is 2 October.
Sponsored by the Colorado Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the technical training conference will address current policy on carbon in terms of storage (e.g., who stores it and where), the potential for sustainable and environmentally friendly storage, and other issues associated with carbon trading.
The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for a direct exchange of information about the Bank's projects, programs and processes with the NADB Board of Directors.
This event will focus on projects that relate to the transformation of refuse products from many sources into usable resources, and the use of renewable sources to provide energy. The conference will cover opportunities in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
The exposition will showcase clean energy technologies, products, and services for worldwide buyers and sellers; feature India as a leading destination for clean energy products, services, and technology; and highlight global and governmental clean energy policies and incentives.
The workshop will promote geothermal development in East Africa by presenting information about opportunities in the Rift Valley countries and facilitating meetings with regional public and private sector energy representatives.
The primary focus of the workshop is to link Federal facility managers interested in installing DER projects with project developers, equipment manufacturers, and system designers.
EGC 2003 is organized by the Hungarian Geothermal Association, the Romanian Geothermal Association, the Slovakian Geothermal Association, and select companies. The conference will include a technical program, an exhibition, field trips, and social events.
The objectives of the IGC-2003 are to provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and knowledge relating to engineering, environmental, financial, and scientific issues of multiform geothermal development; to demonstrate the indisputable benefits that may be attained from integrated and multi-use of geothermal energy with respect to environmental, socioeconomic, and pure commercial considerations; and to identify barriers to widespread geothermal development, e.g., legal issues, risk, public attitude, and scarcity of funding, and their mitigation.
The meeting will promote a comparison among the different structural settings of geothermal systems in various parts of the world, and encourage a multi-disciplinary approach (e.g., rheology, magmatism, modeling, seismic, structural, geology, etc.) to the study of geothermal areas.
Watch for the next issue of Green Green
Green Green is produced for the Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) under Purchase Order No. K99-181018 and the U.S. Department of Energy, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Geothermal Technologies Program.
This information was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the U.S. Government. Neither the U.S. Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the U.S. Government or any agency thereof.
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