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U.S. supports clean energy initiatives in Costa Rica

U.S. Ambassador Anne S. Andrew and University of Costa Rica Vice Rector Carlos Araya on Thursday presented awards for Costa Rican initiatives to develop renewable energy and other environmental themes.

Some 20 projects entered the Clean Energy Regional Contest, announced last year by the U.S. State Department and financed by the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). The effort aims to encourage clean energy technology and policy.

Five winners were announced at the University of Costa Rica’s Planetarium in San Pedro, east of San José: the University of Costa Rica, with a project that will introduce the use of alternative energy including solar, wind and biomass in the coffee industry in Central America; the Academia de Profesionales Solares de las Americas, which will train professionals on how to use solar energy in their businesses; Purdue University, with a plan to promote the use of solar energy in the Caribbean; SNV, a nongovernmental organization that will introduce the use of biogas in livestock and coffee sectors; and Yo Emprendedor, an association that motivates entrepreneurship, with a project that will help a new generation of business owners develop green companies.

Winning projects will receive up to $210,000 in grants.

“Our countries [the U.S. and Costa Rica] are taking steps to reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons and to promote clean-energy technologies and policies, as well as energy efficiency in all sectors,” Andrew said.

The U.S. State Department also donated $1 million from ECPA to Michigan State University – which is working with the University of Costa Rica – to develop solar bio-energy from waste products.

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