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Video: How one solar project brings multiple benefits to a community

October 30, 2014

In June, OPIC committed financing to First Solar, Inc. to support construction of the Luz del Norte solar photovoltaic park in Chile’s Atacama desert. The plant will be the largest photovoltaic project in Latin America, with a capacity of 141 megawatts. In addition to introducing a clean source of fuel in Chile, the project is bringing many additional benefits to
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Powering Africa: The renewable energy opportunity

October 27, 2014

Third in a series looking at OPIC’s approach to powering Africa. For earlier posts see Powering Africa: The off-grid challenge, and Powering Africa: The on-grid challenge. The sun shines almost daily throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa, but most of the population – more than 620 million people — lives in the dark. This extreme energy poverty in a region so rich
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Featured photo: Bringing healthcare to rural Hondurans

October 24, 2014

Doña Chila became a volunteer community pharmacist serving the 2,500 residents of El Tigre Island in Honduras through a training program provided by a local partner of social investment fund Global Partnerships. Each day she counsels at least 15 customers about recommended medications and dosages. Global Partnerships is an OPIC client that provides small microfinance loans in rural communities and
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Geothermal key to powering Africa

October 23, 2014

By Stephen Morel Climate Finance Specialist, OPIC In the next three years, Africa is expected to see an unprecedented amount of geothermal power come online. Through President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, OPIC is poised to be a key player in unlocking the potential of geothermal on the continent. During the Geothermal Resources Council’s 38th Annual Meeting in September, attendees explored how
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On World Food Day, a story of restoring potato crops to Tanzania

October 16, 2014

Family and smallholder farmers play a global role in protecting our environment, eliminating hunger and achieving sustainable development – especially in developing nations. On October 16, World Food Day will highlight this issue, with the theme of “Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth,” which will raise the profile of family and smallholder farmers. As is often the case,
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Littlefield on the future of energy in Africa

October 14, 2014

OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield described the momentum behind President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which she said has generated strong interest among developers who until recently had not considered doing business in Africa. “The world is waking up to the fact that business can be a force for good and has a critical role to play,” Littlefield told Devex
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Featured photo: Illuminating rural villages in India

October 10, 2014

A snack shop owner in a small town near Mangalore, India gets electricity to light the store from a simple pay-as-you-go solar system provided by Simpa Energy India Ltd., a subsidiary of Simpa Networks of Seattle. OPIC recently committed a $3 million loan to Simpa to support the introduction of up to 50,000 new solar systems in rural parts of
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Powering Africa: The on-grid challenge

October 08, 2014

Second in a series looking at OPIC’s work supporting President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative See also: Powering Africa: The off-grid challenge President Obama’s Power Africa initiative has increased awareness of the challenge of extreme energy poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and in doing so, has also highlighted the need for off-grid power solutions to reach a large share of Africa’s rural
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Improving lives through development: Highlights from OPIC’s Annual Report on Development Impact

September 30, 2014

By Margaret Kuhlow Vice President, OPIC Office of Investment Policy OPIC seeks to support projects that will serve as foundations for sustained economic growth, and the projects we support typically bring far-reaching benefits. A power plant, for example, has the immediate benefit of bringing new electricity to market. But it may also create jobs, generate tax revenue and introduce advanced
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Featured photo: Supporting microfinance lending in sub-Saharan Africa

September 26, 2014

The credit portfolio manager of WAGES, a microfinance institution in Sub-Saharan Africa, speaks to a group of farmers in Togo who have used micro-loans to install micro-irrigation systems to improve crop productivity. OPIC, along with the Calvert Foundation, is providing financing for the launch of a new fund for microfinance institutions that are members of the Participatory Microfinance Group for
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