The U.S Department of State, the U.S Department of Energy, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pursue international relationship-building activities focused on clean energy and climate change research, development, and demonstration. These occur in both multilateral fora (for example, the The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate) and bilateral discussions (such as the Energy Cooperation Program with China). As a whole, these efforts are aimed at increasing the deployment of RE&EE technologies and best practices worldwide.
In addition, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have a range of programs in which RE&EE companies can take a direct role in capacity building.
- Technical assistance: USTDA arranges for consultants to help with the development of sector strategies, industry standards, and legal or regulatory regimes, including those that help countries meet their trade obligations. This assistance helps create a favorable business and trade environment.
- Training: USTDA provides training for foreign decision-makers in economic sectors where opportunities exist for the sale of U.S. equipment and services. The training can be conducted in the United States or in the host country, and it focuses on technology or regulatory issues by highlighting U.S. experience and capabilities. USTDA grants may also be obtained for trade and industry advisors to work directly with ministries or local governments.
- The Enterprise Development Network (EDN) is the strategic alliance among public- and private-sector organizations established with the assistance of OPIC. Through a growing network of organizations around the world, EDN is designed to bring together the vast resources essential to attract capital (debt and equity) and political risk insurance for small- and medium-sized enterprises pursuing business opportunities in developing countries, including those in the RE&EE sector. EDN funding sources currently include OPIC loan financing and African Technical Assistance grant funding.
RE&EE exports in action
The examples below illustrate how other U.S. government activities are creating new export markets.
- USTDA provided a technical assistance grant to eThekwini Electricity (TE) of South Africa to assist in developing a project for integrating electricity distribution systems. The assistance, performed by CORE International of Washington, DC, provided TE with a strategic plan for implementing an integrated information technology system that will allow TE to tie its customer data with supply information in real time, which resulted in more cost-effective service and quicker responses to network and system problems. USTDA also funded a reverse trade mission for TE representatives to assist in their procurement decision making and project execution. As a result, TE selected GE Energy’s outage management system technology as part of a multi-phase electricity upgrade modernization.
How can I get involved?
USTDA’s brand of targeted foreign assistance presents opportunities for U.S. firms to provide analysis and advice related to USTDA grant-funded activities. Competitions are announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
Small U.S. consulting firms can also compete for contracts with USTDA to advise the agency on the funding proposals it receives. These contracts present valuable opportunities for small U.S. firms to establish overseas contacts.
To determine which, if any, EDN funding sources are appropriate for your developing-country project, spend a few minutes going through a brief screening of information specific to your project.
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