Grenada receives grant for geothermal energy development

March 22, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados –  The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of US$231,630 to the Government of Grenada to build its capacity for planning and implementation of its geothermal energy development roadmap. The resources are from the Global Environment Facility through the Inter-American Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Facility for the Eastern Caribbean with the CDB.  

Successful development of Grenada’s geothermal energy potential holds the greatest prospect for transforming the energy sector. This technical assistance project will provide the Government of Grenada with consultancy expertise for a period of 24 months. Consultants will work with the Government’s staff, through the establishment and operation of a Geothermal Energy Project Management Unit (GPMU).

The GPMU will provide dedicated resources to pursue the country’s geothermal energy development plan, and support the achievement of exploration drilling.  The Ministry of Finance and Energy will implement the Project, which is also consistent with CDB’s Energy Sector Policy and Strategy, and Climate Resilience Strategy. (more…)

Work moves apace to develop Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code

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A Regional Project Team (RPT), established to develop a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC), among other mandates, will be launched in Kingston, Jamaica, next week.

The launch and the first face-to-face Working Meeting with the contracted consultant will be held 30-31 March, at the Jamaica Bureau of Standards. Nine Member States – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago – are represented on the RPT which consists of 19 Members.

The RPT is tasked with developing the REEBC, as well as its associated application documents and Minimum Energy Performance standards for buildings. To do so, the RPT will review the Minimum Energy Performance Standards for buildings as proposed by consultant, Solar Dynamics, in their final report of the consultancy on the Development of Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) for public and commercial buildings in CARICOM Member States. The team will also review the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in an effort to adapt it, where necessary, and present for acceptance and adoption by Member States as a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code. (more…)

Finland signals interest in CARICOM’s bio-energy

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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.”


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Jamaica ahead of energy schedule

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley (centre), officially launches the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Master’s Degree Programme at the University of Technology (UTech), yesterday (March 2) at the school’s Papine campus. Others (from left) are Charge d’Affaires at the German Embassy, Michael Dumke; Dean, Faculty of the Built Environment at UTech, Dr. Garfield Young; President of UTech, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD.; UTech’s Sustainable Energy Head, Dr. Ruth Potopsingh; Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Devon Gardner, and Representative from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) in the Dominican Republic, Anya Shwerwin. (Photo via JIS)
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley (centre), officially launches the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Master’s Degree Programme at the University of Technology (UTech), March 2, at the school’s Papine campus. Others (from left) are Charge d’Affaires at the German Embassy, Michael Dumke; Dean, Faculty of the Built Environment at UTech, Dr. Garfield Young; President of UTech, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD.; UTech’s Sustainable Energy Head, Dr. Ruth Potopsingh; Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Devon Gardner, and Representative from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in the Dominican Republic, Anya Shwerwin. (Photo via JIS)

Jamaica is ahead of schedule in achieving 30 per cent of its energy consumption from renewable energy sources by the year 2030.

Speaking at the launch of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Master’s Programme at the University of Technology (UTech), yesterday (March 2), Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, pointed out that Jamaica is currently extracting more than 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.

“Last year, Jamaica had 13.5 per cent of its electricity to the grid (coming from renewable energy), and that was when we were not at full capacity, as a number of the facilities came on line in the middle of the year,” he noted.

The Minister further added that during this period, the country was actually generating 15.5 per cent of electricity from renewables.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service

Strategic financing, better partnerships needed to move Region’s energy transition

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The transition to a mix of energy systems from regional electricity grids that are based solely on fossil fuels requires major strategic financing, according to bankers and energy officials.

Finance was as a key topic of discussion at the Fifth Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF V) held in The Bahamas in 23-25 January, 2017, under the theme ‘Future Energy 2027′, with key figures calling for appropriate means of funding energy transition.

One of the main objectives of the Forum was to propose actions to support the ability of Member States to attract the right type of capital that is capable of delivering sufficient financing for sustainable energy deployment. During one of the panel discussions on the final day of the energy forum, participants explored the structure and level of funding, and the kinds of partnerships required to move energy transition along. There was a clear call for more private sector involvement and for a special component at the next Energy Forum that would focus on engagement with the business community to shape the culture that has to evolve to attract investment.

Financial viability, technical assistance and capacity-building, transparent procurement systems and absorptive capacity, were among the matters that participants felt were critical to attracting the kind of investment in energy in the Region. (more…)