blueEnergy works to create a more equitable, sustainable world


blueEnergy Efficiency Report: Bluefields, Nicaragua

By Jess J. Goddard -- In the energy-lingo of today, “energy efficiency” is a buzzword that permeates policy aiming to reduce costs, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and work toward a better balance between demand and supply side management. So far, most of us are aware of how energy efficiency might benefit a country like the US, where demand is high, the grid complicated, and fossil fuels a source of constant debate.

This article of the blueNews is eager to share the findings of Dan Conner, a recent blueEnergy intern, and his colleague Craig Jacobson from Unity Technical Consulting (UTC). Dan spent two weeks in the field researching what energy efficiency means in a decentralized and low-energy demand setting like Bluefields, Nicaragua. Upon completion of his internship, Dan worked closely with Craig to analyze the data and produce a comprehensive report, “Keys to Energy Efficiency,” on the state of blueEnergy’s energy usage in Bluefields.

The report focuses on “climate-specific energy audit techniques” to recommend energy and cost saving strategies that foster conservation efforts. Their investigation of five blueEnergy properties provides blueEnergy with an up-to-date analysis of the company’s energy consumption, equipment, costs and pricing structures. blueEnergy would like to thank Dan Conner and Craig Jacobson of Unity Technical Consulting for their contribution to blueEnergy’s energy strategy moving forward. Please see the full report here.


Alumni Spotlight: Mike Dow

By Jess Goddard -- blueEnergy is constantly looking to continue its relationships with intern and volunteer alumni, and this alumni spotlight feature looks at what one intern has done since working abroad withblueEnergy. Mike Dow interned with blueEnergy for five weeks between May and June of 2010, updating and expanding the Maintenance and Operation Manual for training new wind turbine workshop employees in Bluefields, Nicaragua. Mike also aided the technical teamtohelp assemble the first 14 foot turbine prototype – from balancing the blades to hoisting the turbine up and watching the wind turn the blades for the first time – “a very rewarding and memorable moment.”
Mike Dow with the 14' diameter turbine

Mike’s passion for renewable energy and emerging enterprise continues to define his day-to-day life as an MBA student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to a unique real-world setting and gain exposure to blueEnergy’s community development model provided Mike with an interdisciplinary experience that prepared him for industry in the US.

Such an influence has affected Mike’s choices in pursuing his MBA in Boulder; he writes: “There is a great amount of renewable energy action going on here, from businesses to nonprofits, government laboratories to academia.” He is currently working with a local PV solar installation company and aspires to engage in local energy politics. We look forward to keeping in touch with Mike and encourage our current and past interns to do the same—he made sure to let us know: “My door is always open to bE alums!” blueEnergy wishes Mike Dow the best of luck in 2011!


Evolutions in our impact model (Part 3 of 4)

By Mathias Craig -- blueEnergy found itself in 2009 facing internal and external pressures to significantly grow its impact. As discussed in Part 1 of this series, blueEnergy’s community development approach on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua specifically targets severely marginalized communities that are beyond the edge of the market. There is no one silver bullet to help these communities alter their fundamental situation – a holistic approach is needed to create basic opportunities that can be leveraged by community members to better their own situation. But employing this type of approach beyond the edge of the market is relatively resource intensive on a “per person served” basis, complex and more

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