The Government of Finland, through its newly accredited envoy to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), has expressed strong interest in exploring the bio-energy potential in mainland territories of CARICOM.
Speaking at the ceremony at the CARICOM Secretariat for the presentation of his Letter of Credence to CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, on Thursday 16 March, 2017, the new Finnish Ambassador, His Excellency Kukka Pietikaine said his country wanted to continue cooperation in renewable energy technologies.
He said forest-based bio-energy has a central role in Finland’s economy, with 80 per cent of its renewable energy coming from forest biomass. Indicating that CARICOM and Finland “should take a closer look” at the region’s bio-energy potential, he said that Finland was one of the global leaders in waste-to-energy solutions and a forerunner in bio-fuel technologies.
Another interesting field of cooperation between CARICOM and Finland, he said, could be the development of wave energy, with Finland also possessing “first class technologies in this field,” adding, “a preliminary wave energy assessment would be the first step for the development of the blue energy resources.”
The training, part of its capacity-building thrust, was conducted at the training centre of the CCCCC in Belmopan, Belize, and concluded on Friday. Participants were Gilroy Lewis, General Manager of the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority; Shahera McKoy, Manager, and Nicole Zetina, Project Manager, BELTRAIDE; Jeneva Jones, Head of Science Department, and Ana Hernandez, Agricultural Science Teacher, Belmopan Comprehensive High School; Ryan Zuniga, Lecturer, the University of Belize; Jorge Chuck, Manager, ITVET; Jale Letkeman, General Manager, Farmers’ Light Plant Corporation, Spanish Lookout, and Jomo Myles, student and Sugar Industry Stakeholder.
The two-week course was directed by Tobias Sengfelder of GoGreen Ltd. At the opening, Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Director of the CCCCC, and Dr. Uric Trotz, Deputy Director, both welcomed participants and thanked GIZ for its contribution. They also expressed gratitude to Mr Henrik Personn, of CIM/GIZ for his efforts, especially in the capacity-building and Waste-to-Energy sector in Belize.
Participants, who successfully completed the course, received certificates. They now have the ability to plan, prepare and conduct bio-energy training seminars, and implement bio-energy projects to high standards.
Bioenergy as a renewable energy resource offers many advantages. It can be converted into various forms of secondary and final energy. Biomass, the primary energy source, can be transformed into solid, liquid and gaseous energy carriers. The combustion of these energy carriers can produce heat, cold, electricity, mechanical power or a combination of these. Even better than this, bio-energy is storable, so it can be converted right at the time when energy is needed to balance the differences between energy supply and demand.
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the Region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the Region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. The Centre maintains the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the Region, which, in part enables it to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few.