October 13, 2008

OAS to Help Caribbean With Development of Renewable Energy

Text of report by Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website

CASTRIES, St Lucia CMC-The Organization of American States (OAS) will launching a three-year programme to support the development and use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in seven Caribbean countries.

OAS Energy Division Chief Mark Lambrides, in an address to a conference here, said the European Union, through its Energy Facility, is providing 1.8 million US dollars for the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP).

Countries participating in this programme include St Lucia, St Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, and the Bahamas.

Representatives from the participating countries and implementing partners have been meeting here to outline the programme's expectations and the opportunities for expansion throughout the region.

The programme will be implemented by the OAS in partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat, CARILEC, and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

Lambrides explained that the CSEP would work with each of the participating countries, to help establish national sustainable energy plans that outline a pathway for expanded use of renewable energy and greater energy efficiency.

"Most countries of the Caribbean depend on imported petroleum products for virtually all of their energy supply, yet there are considerable untapped opportunities to generate power from local renewable natural resources such as geothermal, wind, solar, and biomass," he said.

Paul Mondesir from the Barbados Delegation of the European Commission (EC) expressed that the EC is firmly committed to helping Caribbean countries prepare and implement sustainable energy plans as a means to address the high cost of energy, while reducing the impact of the sector on the local and global environment.

"Achieving such results will involve the implementation of a wide range of energy market activities such as policy and regulatory reforms, training seminars, renewable energy resource assessments, and project financing design," Mondesir said.

He noted that significant increases in the use of renewable sources of energy and increased efficiency throughout the region were considerable challenges that would be addressed in partnership with other key sustainable energy initiatives.

Originally published by Caribbean Media Corporation news agency website, Bridgetown, in English 1800 12 Oct 08.

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