Today, the U.S. Department of State held the second U.S. – Central America Renewable Energy Forum (CAREF). The roundtable was opened by Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela and hosted by Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, Jose W. Fernandez. The CAREF dialogue is led by the Department of State in support of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) to encourage clean energy investment in Central America and dialogue among senior Central American and Dominican Republic energy officials, civil society, current and potential private sector investors and regional stakeholders.
The second round of the CAREF follows the first meeting in November 2010 in Atlanta, GA. The March 1 session focused on financial programs that Central American countries and private investors can utilize to increase U.S. exports of renewable energy technologies to the region, as well as public policies in favor of renewable energy use.
Participants of CAREF I and II included energy ministers from Central America, representatives of U.S. export credit agencies, and members of the private sector from the region. Officials from the Governments of Mexico and Brazil participated in CAREF II. Discussions were led by the Director of the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), as well as representatives from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the private sector, through the Council of the Americas and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).
Countries that were represented included Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.