blueEnergy works to create a more equitable, sustainable world


Newsletter December 2007

blueEnergy launches “2 Million hours of light” campaign!

Over the last two months people rallied all around the world to help blueEnergy win the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards. While blueEnergy did not win the official $25,000 prize, with your help, we will raise the money at the grassroots level and give Nicaraguans the victory they deserve. The “2 Million Hours Of Light” campaign aims to raise $25,000 before the end of 2007 to help blueEnergy bring light and opportunity to more than 100 new beneficiaries on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.
Please consider joining in this campaign and making a donation of any size, even as low as $1!
To increase your impact you can honor your friends or loved ones by making a donation to blueEnergy in their name and helping blueEnergy light up a dark place. This holiday season, don’t just give another thing, give the amazing Gift Of Light.
You can also request that for the holiday season, or any special occasion, your friends and family donate to blueEnergy in lieu of giving you material gifts. If you feel fortunate in this life, this is a great way to share with others in need.
CNN Heroes CNN viewers’ choice awards results announced

The results of the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards vote were announced on December 6th, during CNN’s live global broadcast hosted by Anderson Cooper. Pat Pedraja was selected as the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice in what must have been a close race. Our congratulations to Pat and the rest of the finalists for their amazing work.
From Mathias Craig: “I have been amazed and moved by the level of support we have received during this campaign. People from all over the world mobilized to vote for blueEnergy and Nicaragua, and the entire experience was an eye opener for me and all of the blueEnergy staff and beneficiaries. I speak for all of blueEnergy when I say - thank you for all your efforts. Your time and dedication have been an inspiration and we look forward to carrying this momentum forward. Please consider joining our ‘2 Million Hours Of Light’ campaign to give Nicaraguans the victory they deserve.”
The results of the blueEnergy Voting Picture Contest were also announced with Jordan Pfeifer winning the grand prize with his “Hulk Smashes The Competition” masterpiece.
blueEnergy partners with MissionFish and eBay GivingWorks

blueEnergy has partnered with MissionFish and eBay GivingWorks to create a new source of revenue. The partnership allows sellers on eBay to designate blueEnergy as the charity to receive a portion of their auction receipts on selected items.

If you are a seller on eBay and would like to donate a portion of your proceeds on selected items to blueEnergy, please visit herefor information on how to get set up.
If you are interested on bidding on eBay items that are being listed to benefit blueEnergy, please visit here.
Social Edge blueEnergy’s Mathias Craig to be a featured blogger on

Social Edge is the global online community where social entrepreneurs and other practitioners of the social benefit sector connect to network, learn, inspire and share resources. Starting this month, Mathias will join other bloggers of note on the, including Matt Flannery of and Sam Goldman of d.light, to discuss the specifics of the blueEnergy experience and the broader issues and opportunities faced by social entrepreneurs.
Philip Montalbán blueEnergy’s 4th birthday Celebration

blueEnergy will host a musical celebration for it’s 4th birthday in Bluefields, Nicaragua, on December 15th. Philip Montalbán, of Soul Vibrations fame, will headline the event with Caribbean Taste. Along with other musical acts, the event will include a tour of blueEnergy’s shop and an explanation of how the hybrid wind and solar energy systems work. For more information, contact [>mailto:].


Newsletter November 2007

blueEnergy: CNN Heroes viewers’ choice vote mobilization, Larry King Live, and more!

CNN Heroes viewers’ choice awards - Vote mobilization

As most of you know, blueEnergy, being represented by Mathias Craig, is in the running for the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards. Mathias has already made it to the final round where 6 nominees are competing in the web-based poll for a prize of $25,000 in project funding and a live appearance with Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour. Needless to say blueEnergy could really use this funding and exposure to solidify its operations in Nicaragua and bring more light and opportunity to those in need.
The online voting ends at noon EST on Monday, November 26th. We need each and every one of our supporters to log in to and vote!
Furthermore, CNN has clarified that while multiple voting is allowed, they do cap the number of votes allowed per computer per day (although they don’t say at what number). Therefore, we ask that all our supporters please vote at least 5 times a day from as many different computers as you can, and repeat each and every day until the end of the voting on Monday. Some of the other finalists have the backing of major celebrities and media outlets and we need our network to mobilize in a major way if we are to have any chance of winning.
Outstanding voting pictures contest
In order to motivate and interest our network in the CNN voting process, we have organized a “Get the vote out picture contest”. The idea is simple, you take incredible and/or wacky and/or hilarious pictures of you voting and send them to . At the end of the vote our campaign committee will select their favorite picture and the winner will receive an original “wind turbine landscape painting” from Bluefields’ own painter Julio Godoy. An example of Julio’s work:

Larry King Live

We have recently learned that Mathias Craig, Executive Director of blueEnergy, will be featured on the Larry King Live show on Sunday, December 2nd, as part of a show focusing on the finalists of the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards.
The Larry King Show on CNN is regularly watched by over one-million viewers worldwide. An appearance on this show can drastically raise awareness of and donations to our cause. Your dedication to voting in the first round of the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards has made this possible. Thank you!
blueEnergy’s 4th birthday
On Monday, November 19th, blueEnergy marked it’s 4th birthday! blueEnergy marked the date calmly since all our attention is focused on the CNN Heroes vote. The major celebration will take place in Bluefields, Nicaragua in early December – stay tuned for details in case you want to try and make it!
Talk at Haas business school, UC Berkeley

Mathias Craig will be giving a talk to the Berkeley Energy and Resource Collaborative at the Haas School of Business on December 3rd, 2007. The talk is focused on the business and entrepreneurial aspects of blueEnergy. More information is available here:
blueEnergy: Tech Awards / CNN viewers’ choice Awards - Final round! / Hivos partnership

Trophies Tech Awards / Presentations at Stanford business school and Santa Clara university conference

As we reported back in September, blueEnergy was selected as a 2007 Laureate of the Tech Awards, hosted by the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA. On November 7th, at the Tech Award Gala, attended by 1,500 of the Bay Area’s most influential innovators, philanthropists and business icons, blueEnergy was given the high honor of being selected as the prize recipient in the Economic Development category.
The Tech Awards program inspires global engagement in applying technology to humanity’s most pressing problems by recognizing the best of those who are utilizing innovative technology solutions to address the most urgent critical issues facing our planet. People all over the world are profoundly improving the human condition in the areas of education, equality, environment, health, and economic development through the use of technology. It is the goal of The Tech Awards to showcase their compelling stories and reward their brilliant accomplishments.
Each year, candidates are nominated and then invited to submit applications. Individuals, for-profit companies, and not-for-profit organizations are eligible. International panels of judges review the applications and annually select 25 Laureates. Awards are presented in five categories: Health, Education, Environment, Economic Development, and Equality. Five Laureates in each category are honored and one Laureate per category receives $50,000. Laureates are honored at an annual Gala event and inducted into the Tech Laureate Venture Network (TLVN). The TLVN is the extension of the Awards from an annual event to a year round program. The goal of the TLVN is to create opportunities for learning, networking, and exposure to assist the Laureates in furthering their work. Freeplay
The Awards program was launched in November 2000, and the first Awards Gala was held in 2001. The concept for the Awards and the five universal categories were inspired in part by the State of the Future report, published by the Millennium Project of the American Council of the United Nations University. The report recommends that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthrough and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Awards categories are based on the 15 Global Challenges identified in the report.
Partners and Sponsors include: Applied Materials, Inc., Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University, American Council for The United Nations University, UNDP, World Bank Institute, Catholic Relief Services, Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, The Swanson Foundation and SanDisk.
While participating in the weeklong events in San Jose, Mathias Craig also had the opportunity to give a presentation to the “Social Innovation and the Social Entrepreneur” class at Stanford University and a presentation to the conference “Technology Benefiting Humanity: Taking Innovation to the Next Stage” at Santa Clara University.
For more information visit:
CNN Heroes viewers’ choice – Final round of voting starts monday

The final round of voting in the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards starts this coming Monday, the 12th of November, at 12 noon EST. Voting is between the finalists of the 6 categories in the CNN Heroes profile series, which include: Defending the Planet, Fighting for Justice, Community Crusader, Medical Marvel, Championing Children, and Young Wonder (under 18).
The winner in the final round of voting will win a cash prize of $25,000 and will be featured in a live global telecast December 6, hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour.
Needless to say, blueEnergy desperately needs this prize money to solidify its operations in Nicaragua and bring electricity to more people in need. With your help, we can make a large showing on this national and international stage and get the support we need.
And there is good news: you can vote once a minute, up to sixty times an hour! But please remember to follow all CNN rules — most importantly, no automated (or script) voting.
Starting November 12, noon EST you can vote here:
If you want to help coordinate a network to moblize votes, please contact us at .
Partnership with Hivos

In late October, blueEnergy launched a 3-year program to increase its organizational capacity and expand its operational capacity into communications, community water delivery and gender equality. blueEnergy will partner with IPCC-INATEC (National Technical Institute), the Municipal Government of Pearl Lagoon and the Indigenous and Creole Territorial Government to execute the project with significant financial and logistical backing from Hivos, a Dutch nonprofit organization.
Hivos is a non-governmental organization, rooted in The Netherlands and guided by humanist values, that wants to contribute to a free, fair and sustainable world where citizens, women and men, have equal access to resources, opportunities and markets and can participate actively and equally in decision-making processes that determine their lives, their society and their future.
Hivos’ basic commitment is to poor and marginalized people - and their organizations - in countries of the global South and East, and Eastern Europe. A sustainable improvement of their situation is the ultimate benchmark for the work and efforts of Hivos. The empowerment of women in order to achieve gender equality is a primary directive in Hivos’ policy.
Hivos’ aim is a world in which people are equal and in which no limits are set on people’s opportunities for development.
For more information on Hivos you can visit:


Newsletter October 2007

blueEnergy a Tech Award laureate / lightning strikes... again / CNN Espanol / hurricane Felix / SF Chronicle / Social Edge

Tech Awards
blueEnergy is one of 25 Innovators from around the world applying technology to benefit humanity
(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and BLUEFIELDS, Nicaragua) Sept. 18, 2007 –
blueEnergy, a nonprofit organization manufacturing micro-wind turbines for remote electrification in Nicaragua, was today named one of 25 innovators from around the world to be honored by this year’sThe Tech Museum Awards: Technology Benefiting Humanity. Sponsored by The Tech Museum of Innovation, one of the country’s premier science and technology museums, and presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum Awards honor individuals who are applying technology to benefit humanity and spark global change. blueEnergy was selected from hundreds of nominations sent from 68 countries.
Lightning strikes a third time

blueEnergy suffered its third major lightning strike in less than two months on September 12th. The lightning struck blueEnergy’s shop on the IPCC-INATEC campus in Bluefields in the middle of the night and exacted a large amount of damage. Lost were our internet setup, a host of metering equipment and our large sine wave inverter providing primary power to our workshop and backup power to the school. Lost in the second strike, which occurred previously at the shop in early September was some metering equipment and our second largest inverter, also providing primary power to the shop and backup power to the school. blueEnergy employs standard lightning protection equipment but the three strikes we all abnormally large and overwhelmed the protections. In over 3 years of operations in Nicaragua these are the first strikes to have affected blueEnergy. blueEnergy has understaken a major initiative to re-design its lighting protection system in anticipation of further large strikes.
While the turbines themselves are ok, the power system at INATEC today sits idle since there are no inverters to convert the battery bank’s energy to usable AC energy. When the grid power cuts now, everything comes to a grinding halt.
In total the three strikes over the last two months have cost us over $10,000 in losses and repairs. Unfortunately we are unable to budget these kind of unpredictable losses in our grant proposals – at this time, we are relying on the generosity of our supporters to help us get back on our feet. Please consider making a donation today.
CNN Español
Mathias Craig, executive director of blueEnergy, was profiled as a CNN Hero in June 2007. The Spanish version of the profile was just released and is viewable on the CNN Español television station as well as online here.
End of the first round of the CNN heroes campaign
Again, thank you to everyone that took time out of their busy schedules to support blueEnergy in the first round of voting of the CNN Heroes Viewers’ Choice Awards. Voting closed at 12 noon EST on the 29. october and blueEnergy was leading the second place candidate by over 4,000 votes. We are now awaiting an official tally from CNN.
The vote was a sprited competition and Mathias and blueEnergy would like to acknowledge fellow candidate Josh Sundquist and his organization for their impressive campaign and the work they do building an online, supportive community for amputees all around the world.
hurricane Felix

Hurricane Felix hit the northeast region of Nicaragua on September 4th with winds of up to 260 kilometers per hour, making it a Category 5 hurricane, the most severe on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The worst hit was Puerto Cabezas, an impoverished city of 40,000 where officials said 90 percent of infrastructure was wrecked. Debris of houses smashed up by the storm, downed power lines and uprooted trees litter the ground.
We were fortunate that the storm did not have a strong impact in the Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS) where we are located. We took the precaution of lowering all of our turbines in and north of Bluefields and none were damaged.
Our thoughts are with those in the Northern Region who suffered heavily from this storm. The damage to the infrastructure is now having ripple affects that will affect people adversely for some time.
Puerto Cabezas is our most likely first expansion location on the Coast and they will now need energy and other basic infrastructure development more than ever.
San Francisco Chronicle

Guillaume Craig, associate director of blueEnergy was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle in Sunday’s edition on September 16th. The article was mentioned on the front page and was featured on the cover of the international section. The article can be viewed here.
Social Edge interview

blueEnergy’s executive director Mathias Craig was recently interviewed by the socialedge’s Global X initiative, a program that highlights the work of social entrepreneurs. The interview went live on socialedge’s website on August 14th, with the intro "Watch Mathias Craig as he tells Global X how he felt (not too good!) the day he came back to Nicaragua only to realize that the community was using electricity to watch Mexican telenovellas (soap operas). That is, until his brother walked by the school...". See the interview here.
Support blueEnergy
blueEnergy is expanding its infrastructure at a rapid rate to meet the tremendous demand for its services in Nicaragua. In the last month blueEnergy expanded it’s shop space by 25%, acquired full use of a truck and brought its number of local workers to 11 and number of international volunteers in Nicaragua to 10. As with many early stage organization, blueEnergy works hard to stretch every dollar to the limit and we have indeed achieved tremendous results with very limited funding. The future holds great promise for blueEnergy but public support is needed to help us get there.
The past two months have been difficult for blueEnergy due to the 3 lighting strikes (one at the office/house and two at the shop) that caused over $10,000 in damage. If you have read this far down in the update, you probably care about our work. I urge you to consider making a contribution today to help us get back on our feet. The Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua needs our services, more now then ever since the ravaging of Hurricane Felix earlier this month. Together we can have a tremendously positive impact on the lives of so many.