ST JAMES, Jamaica – Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Phillip Paulwell said Friday that Caribbean countries account for half of the top 10 most expensive retail electricity prices in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. He noted that this was the findings of Climatescope 2013, a study conducted by the IADB's Multilateral Investment Fund and Bloomberg on the cost of retail electricity to end users in the LAC region. Paulwell expressed optimism that by Friday evening there would be the signing of an agreement reflecting the intent of the Montego Bay Declaration on Regional Energy Security and Integration. Or at least thata€™s how Maduro described the situation in a a€?thunderinga€? speech to supporters at what he called an a€?anti-imperialista€? rally in Caracas last Sunday. Meanwhile, thousands of demonstrators held counter-rallies calling for the Presidenta€™s ouster. Needless to say, Maduroa€™s a€?measuresa€? didna€™t do much to help the situation on the ground, where Venezuelans must queue in front of grocery stores and where 90% of medicine is scarce. Venezuela is the worlda€™s worst performing economy and barring a sudden (not to mention large) spike in crude prices, the country will in all likelihood default this year as 90% of oil revenue at current prices must go towards debt service payments.
But that hasna€™t deterred Maduro, who has vowed to remain defiant in the face of (loud) calls for his exit. Maybe so, but one place thata€™s not a€?hanging onto powera€? is the Guri Dam, which supplies more than two-thirds of the countrya€™s electricity.
Yesterday, Venezuela's energy minister took back his warning that water levels at Guri were set to plunge the country into an electricity crisis, but did ask the public to do as Maduro asks.
Energy experts in Scotland think that with the help of wave and tidal energy, Chile may be able to receive cheap electricity in its remote communities. Historically, Chile has imported the majority of its energy at great cost to its poorest citizens. But with a little help from Scotland, Chile may be on course to make a dramatic reversal in its energy fortunes. Gareth Davies is managing director of Aquatera, a Scottish renewable energy consultancy with many years of experience in marine energy. It’s still early days, but the Chilean government has awarded the contract to launch a centre of excellence in marine energy and funds are in place for two pilot energy schemes in the south of the country. Aquatera has been working to develop marine energy in Chile for six years, and Davies wants Chile to benefit from Scotland’s experience, leapfrogging some of the mistakes they made. The situation in Chile is slightly different as its energy markets are local rather than national.
The electricity grid in Chile is patchy; it has a little bit of solar here, some conventional power plants there, and thousands of people in remote areas completely dependent on expensive shipments of diesel, which they use to power small-scale generators. It makes far more sense to bring the energy on land from the coast to the towns on a longitudinal basis – rather than trying to bring it in at one point and run it through a national grid to inaccessible places. A report by Aquatera for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office says that marine energy will be as cheap as most other forms of energy in Chile by 2020, and that it is already – even in these very early days – on a par with the price people are paying for diesel electricity in the remote areas. There are commercial markets that are already viable and prices always come down once a technology is implemented on a larger scale.

The ban is expected to encourage a more efficient use of coal, which has been blamed for China’s severe air pollution troubles.
Australian coal exporters are scrambling to clarify the fallout from China’s new coal import rules, which some fear could expose the industry to billions of dollars in lost sales as the Asian nation seeks to slash air pollution. According to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), the fact that China began this month banning coal with ash content of more than 16% and a sulphur level of more than 1%, has spawned a perceived greater risk of rejection at Chinese customs. With as much as 70% of Chinese coal capacity loss-making at current prices, Pervan added the National Development and Reform Committee had forced cuts on imports and domestic production.
As much as a quarter of all coal shipped through Newcastle goes to China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, up from less than 10% a few years ago.
In the past three years Australia’s coal industry has experienced challenging times with prices for thermal coal, which is consumed by power stations to generate electricity, dropping over 40%. THE END OF OFFSHORE DRILLING?This disruptive market will grow 84% to 270% over the next five years: Discover the 6 equipment suppliers set to profit.
The materials provided on this Web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to provide tax, legal, or investment advice. Nothing contained on the Web site shall be considered a recommendation, solicitation, or offer to buy or sell a security to any person in any jurisdiction. UKAid from the Department of International Development (DFID), GVEP International, South Korea and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have launched a contest to develop innovative ideas to improve energy efficiency and expand access to renewable energy in the Caribbean. The contest, launched today with a regional marketing campaign What’s your bright IDEA?, is intended to promote innovative solutions to energy problems that have local or regional  benefits, provide jobs and  reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Award winners will receive up to US$200,000,as well as technical and business development support to implement or scale up their ideas. Energy in the Caribbean is currently produced almost exclusively from imported fossil fuels, Banister explained.
IDEAS is an Energy Innovation Contest to support the development of innovative projects promoting renewable energies, and improving energy efficiency.. A second phase of IDEAS was launched on September 15, 2011, in cooperation with the Mexican Secretariat of Energy with the support of the Sustainable Energy Fund (FSE), the IDB and the South Korean Government to promote innovation in sustainable energy.
The Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP International) is a UK-based NGO that works with local businesses in developing countries to increase access to modern energy and to improve the quality of lives for thousands of people. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is the largest source of financing for development for Latin America and the Caribbean. The South Korean Government supports Latin America and the Caribbean’s efforts towards improving energy access, efficiency, and producing renewable energy, including through the “Knowledge Partnership Korea Fund for Technology and Innovation” (KPKF) at the IDB.
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A map has been produced charting the cost of living around the world - and it reveals how the U.S. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. Maduro angered the opposition - which dealt Hugo Chaveza€™s leftist movement its worst defeat at the ballot box in history in December - last month when he used a stacked Supreme Court to give himself emergency powers he says will help him deal with the countrya€™s worsening economic crisis.
Chile has plenty of wave-energy resource and could even become an energy exporter at some point in the future, when cost-effective transportation of energy over long distances are found. Chileans in remote communities which rely on diesel generators for their electricity supply pay more than twice the amount per kilowatt hour than people do in the UK.
Chileans in isolated communities are reliant on tankers for delivering water, which is costly.
Experts in Scotland think that renewable energy from the sea – wave and tidal energy – could provide cheap electricity to Chile’s remote communities and be used to power desalination and water pumping.
At some point in the future, when a cost-effective way of transporting energy long distance has been found. From a geographical perspective this is entirely logical; Chile is a long strip of a country, running down the west coast of South America, between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes. Annual consumption exceeded 1 billion short tons per year in 1988 and has exploded since then, to about 4 billion tons last year.
IDEAS was first launched in February 2009, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Government of Korea, non-governmental organization GVEP International and the German Technical Cooperation for Development (GIZ), and funded by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ) and the Netherlands Directorate-General of Development Cooperation (DGIS). Through its Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative (SECCI), the IDB supports renewable energy and energy efficiency, biofuel development, carbon finance, and adaptation to climate change. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published. Settlements in the north of Chile (Norte Grande, Norte Chico) and in the far south (Aysen, Magallenes and Chile’s off shore islands) could all benefit from desalination projects that turn sea water into drinking water – if they had a cheap source of electricity to power these projects. It ranges from hot desert in the north, to freezing lands in the south, and in between there are fjords, opens coasts and offshore islands. This means the Asian giant gets about 70% of its energy from the fossil fuel, a number the government hopes to reduce to 65% by 2017. Each of those regions presents different opportunities for energy generation and different markets for energy supply. A total of 26 winners were selected in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.

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