Until now, going green in the developing world’s building business seemed a luxury only for the wealthy, or a few select multinational companies looking to make a branding statement. Today, however, buildings for the middle- and lower-income markets can also adopt environmentally sound designs. Imagine a simple, inexpensive, and reliable way to generate real and dramatic savings on utility bills, no matter what the client’s income or the kind of building they live or work in - whether a house, hospital, apartment building, hotel, or office.
Most of the global focus is on wind and solar - sectors where IFC is investing heavily worldwide. But geothermal energy is another high-potential natural power source that developing countries have barely tapped until now. Driving electrical turbines with heat from deep within the earth, geothermal plants’ proven technology could be a key generator of clean power in many developing countries. But so far only three - the Philippines, Indonesia, and Mexico - have made it a major part of their installed capacity. Many others, including Nicaragua, are now also starting to give it serious focus.
Today there is also growing interest in applying concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. It uses mirrors or lenses with tracking systems to focus a large amount of concentrated sunlight onto a small area, which then becomes a heat source that is typically used for conventional power plants. Recently developed smaller CSP systems also provide clean water and other important needs.