The event offered an opportunity to discuss the Caribbean region’s potential to deploy renewable energy technologies, as their cost continues to fall and that of fossil fuels is trending upwards. Government and private sector analyzed the types of policies required to develop a regional market that will allow small island states to harness indigenous renewable resources and generate abundant and cheaper energy.
On October 9, 2013, the ECPA Clearinghouse convened a sustainable energy roundtable on the fringes of the 2013 Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) hosted in Aruba. The roundtable brought together leaders of Caribbean Governments, the private sector, and the international community to support efforts to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency development in the region.
There is a need for transition toward greater sustainability of the region’s energy market. Today, Caribbean small island states pay some of the highest prices for energy and yet use some of the most polluting and unreliable technologies. There is broad commitment among the governments to boost the uptake of sustainable energy solutions. The region boasts abundant renewable resources, there have been substantial reductions in the costs of renewable energy technologies, and the cost of bioenergy is also coming down dramatically. However the deployment of renewable energy projects is slow. Ambassador Albert Ramdin, Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, who spoke at the roundtable, stated that “there must be a time when we must start transitioning into action.” Making reference to the need for change in the region, Ramdin said that “there is only one option for the region in the long term, and that is to go into renewable energy.” ECPA is working closely with several governments of the Caribbean to support a transition toward structural and policy reform that will modernize the energy market.
Since 2010, ECPA has been driving regional dialogue and assisting Caribbean governments to promote and implement sustainable energy policies and programs. Legal counsel and technical assistance was provided to support the commercialization of government endorsed sustainable energy projects that foster greater energy security. ECPA is also facilitating a regional dialogue on innovative energy solutions, including sub-sea electrical interconnections that could address long-term Caribbean energy security challenges.