Topic: Economic Opportunity

Economic Opportunity Articles

Solar Energy Catalyzes Women’s Entrepreneurship in Nepal

Combining renewable energy with female empowerment, Empower Generation is an organization introducing solar energy and unique business practices to the Terai region in Nepal. By training women in rural communities to start, manage and expand their own businesses, Empower Generation uses entrepreneurship as a tool for social, economic and technological change.

How Small Islands Can Transition to Renewable Energy

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the front line of climate change, facing the damage of shrinking coastlines and the ravages of tropical storms. However, these 57 island nations around the world can attempt to address this global challenge by relying on their renewable resources including sunshine, wind, hydropower and biomass. The topic was the subject of multiple events in November at COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
Purple flower

Climate Finance Is Failing to Reach a Local Level, Study Finds

As world leaders met in Bonn, Germany in November for COP23, the challenge of climate finance projects in developing countries took center stage. A second challenge receives less attention: fewer than 10 percent of development finance from international climate funds reaches the local level. This finding is presented in a paper called “Delivering Real Change: Getting International Climate Finance to the Local Level.” It was published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a London-based policy-research group.
Coral at the Monterey Aquarium

Global Frameworks for Financing Sustainable Infrastructure

As decision makers gathered at COP23 this November in Bonn, Germany, they considered strategies that could empower them to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Financing sustainable infrastructure is one of the keys to putting these goals in motion. According to Laura Canas da Costa, senior advisor in sustainable infrastructure financing at WWF Switzerland, developing nations will be building extensive amounts of infrastructure as they pursue the SDGs. Traditionally, up to 70 percent of infrastructure financing comes from the public sector.
Installing solar panels

Community-Shared Solar Requires Better Software and Contracts

Community-shared solar is a growing industry in the United States that offers homeowners a solar alternative to rooftop solar. Experts from financial institutions, development companies, and electric cooperatives converged at Solar Power International (SPI) in Las Vegas on Sept. 10-13 to discuss the recent growth and future prospects of community-shared solar.
Solar panels

Low-Income Solar Policy Guide Shows Work Is Needed

The residential solar market has heated up in the United States during the past few years. Although its fortunes have fluctuated, it has seen dramatic improvements. The same cannot be said for the low-income solar market, which is just beginning to thaw. According to the Low-Income Solar Policy Guide developed by the nonprofits Grid Alternatives, Center for Social Inclusion, and Vote Solar, there is a key set of structures that needs to be put in place at the government level to set the ground rules for a profitable market. The frameworks depend on the state policy environment.

Clean Energy's Role in Recession Recovery

Although clean energy may not take center stage as the star employment generator in the Great Recession recovery, it plays an important supporting role, according to Jim Barrett, chief economist at American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. This goes above and beyond the economic benefits of climate protection reported by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Developing Nations Build Distributed Energy Solutions

Adoption of solar power and microgrid technologies has been on the rise in frontier and growth markets. This trend results from declining equipment costs and increasing support from development funds, government programs, and impact investors. But there is much room to fill. There are as many as 1.1 billion people around the globe who still don’t have access to a reliable supply of electricity. Microgrids can help address the issue without expensive transmission and distribution infrastructure.