Geysers for sale - a Canadian company has bought stakes in Icelandic geothermal companies; locals are up in arms and making no bones about their outrage. Meanwhile, renewable energy is gaining popularity in the Caribbean and helping the region switch from reliance on oil to water, sun and wind.
For the time being, the Caribbean islands are almost completely dependent on oil, with renewable energy playing little to no role in the regional energy supply despite the fact that conditions are ideal. In the long run, the Caribbean could turn its back on fossil fuels and rely completely on solar energy and hydropower. Slowly but surely, the switch is happening.
Electricity prices in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world. Welectricity is a simple, free online service that helps users track and reduce their electricity consumption at home. We met up with its founder, Herbert Samuel, who lives on St. Vincent. The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) helped him build up the business, and also supports the state electricity company in its transition to renewable energy. Old hydropower stations are being modernized, the feasibility of wind parks tested and solar power plants are already up and running.
Regenerative energies have never been more in demand. Geothermal energy is being hailed as one of the most promising energy sources of the future - readily available and emission-free. It's already being used in many countries.
Iceland is pioneering use of geothermal energy - not least due to its special geological location and the high concentration of volcanoes and geysers. Geothermal heat is one of Iceland's greatest natural resources, and outside interest is inevitable. The Canadian company Magma Energy is the first foreign business to buy stakes in Icelandic geothermal companies - locals are up in arms and protesting loudly.
Socorro Barbosa and her family built their own home with local wood.
About 1.5 million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip. Its economy was severely hampered even before the Israeli blockade in 2009, and it has since declined even further. 90 percent of local businesses have shut.
For years, restrictions on labor and trade across the border prevented local flower and fruit growers from exporting their produce. Late last year Israel announced that a limited amount of cut flowers and strawberries - Gaza’s cash crops - could once again be exported to Europe, bringing hope of economic revival.