Energy partners in the Region met in Georgetown, Guyana, last month to assess progress and to agree on the way forward for the sector.
The partners gathered for the Mid-Term Planning Meeting of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance Programme (REETA) held 9-10 March. REETA is the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) project that is being implemented in CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.
About 30 partners attended the meeting including Caribbean Regional Organisations, Universities, and International Development Partners such as the European Union (EU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Germany’s National Metrology Institute.
Over the two days, participants focused on challenges the Region faced; the weak institutionalisation of energy policies; knowledge deficiency about renewable energies and energy efficiency among the populace; inadequate funding; and insufficient energy links to areas such as transport, tourism, and the environment.
The CARICOM Secretariat has a coordinating role in the Caribbean Energy Policy and is at the same time the most important partner of the Programme. Dr. Devon Gardner, Programme Manager of the Secretariat’s Energy Unit, highlighted the importance of the regional roadmap, which the Member States have set as their goal of increasing the share of renewable energies from eight per cent in 2012 to 47 per cent.
The GIZ REETA Programme under Glynn Morris, works with the Secretariat and other regional partner organisations including the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and national development banks to fulfil these goals by increasing the investment volume in renewable energy and energy efficiency.