Island Resiliency Action Challenge
Please refer to the description of the Island Resiliency Action Challenge here.
The Caribbean grid we aspire to is resilient, clean, independent and modern. Across 25 panels, workshops and stakeholder meetings, over 100 regional and industry leaders will debate and discuss a roadmap to get there.
Critical themes covered in the 2018 agenda:
Optional and invitation-only events take place on November 7 including the Island Resiliency Action Challenge. The opening reception, open to all, will take place on November 7. Main CREF proceedings will begin on November 8.
Please refer to the description of the Island Resiliency Action Challenge here.
Gathering senior officials and utility executives from the islands which were hit hardest last year by Irma and Maria, this session will define the current status of recovery and rebuild on an island-by-island basis, and address the following:
Resilience. Energy independence. Clean Energy. They’re not talking points and they’re not trends; they’re real long-term needs, needs which are re-shaping the approach to policy-making and to investment in generation across the region. This session will gather a cross-section of policy-maker, utility, multilateral and private sector leaders to explore the big issues. How can policy-makers support island utilities in their bid to create economic, resilient and independent grids? Beyond the hype, are we seeing real progress and where are the roadblocks? How will new funding programs, like the Caribbean Accelerator, impact project development? In an era of solar and storage, what are the implications for utilities? What forces, what initiatives, which organizations, and which people are driving the market?
Featuring the presentation of the 2018 CREF-Castalia Renewable Energy Index, which ranks countries on progress towards and investability in clean energy. The session will also feature a review of the project marketplace, a unique resource which features the status of Caribbean RE projects in various stages of financing and execution. The presentation will be followed by a robust discussion around project bankability and what’s missing in projects that aren’t getting funded. Also: top line findings of the IDB, OAS and CARICOM-funded report on region-wide investment needs in the energy sector over the next 20 years.
Announcing the 2018 CREF Industry Awards
Through the lens of the destructive 2016 and 2017 hurricane seasons, how has the utility approach to investment in energy infrastructure evolved? Have procurement processes and standards changed? How should utilities balance affordability vs. resiliency? How can policy-makers support efforts to create resilient grids? What is the role of the regulator? Does resiliency mean something different to utilities, policymakers, private sector, and consumers? What role could and should international agencies and the multilaterals play?
A year after Maria battered an already financially precarious Puerto Rico, how has the landscape for investment in generation and infrastructure evolved? How will plans to privatize PREPA shape the future of the market, and how is the regulatory commission influencing these plans? What are the investment opportunities for solar, storage, microgrids and beyond?
As islands prioritize resiliency for electric grids, some utilities and governments are contemplating a transition away from centralized generation models towards a distributed model with smaller scale systems. Panelists will debate the merits of each, how to achieve the right balance, ease of system deployment – and cost. This session will gather regional and international stakeholders to debate approaches to what has become a critical issue for the region.
After years of false starts, promise in the Dominican Republic is at last translating into projects. Financing is flowing to utility scale wind and solar projects and the market for C&I solar and storage is poised to take off. This session will gather perspectives from CDEEE and senior private sector market participants on the trajectory of the market and where opportunities are emerging for investment.
What are the economics of resiliency and how will the Caribbean finance a resilient energy matrix? Is there a point at which the benefits of investments in resiliency are outweighed by the economic burden? How can we leverage climate and multilateral funds to attract private sector capital to resilient projects? What is the perspective of private equity and the commercial banking sector on the financing of resilient projects?
Pioneered by early entrants such as Earthspark and Sigora, the market for microgrid development in Haiti is beginning to look less like a frontier, more like a significant opportunity. Opportunities exist for distributed solar, storage and microgrids in rural communities and municipalities. There are also signs of life in the C&I market and among off-takers in the free-trade zones. Meanwhile the new government continues to affirm its support for renewables, while funding continues to flow from the multilaterals. This session will gather public and private sector stakeholders for a granular discussion on the obstacles and the opportunities.
In a first for the region, this session will feature the presentation by leading storage consultants, Clean Horizon, of an interactive regional map detailing storage projects across the Caribbean in various stages of build and execution. As the market matures, panelists will also explore the approaches to technology and procurement taken by various islands to date and debate what, in terms of best practice, is emerging.
The overhaul of the Bahamian energy sector has been identified by the new administration as a critical priority. Over the course of a presentation and on-stage interview, Viana Gardiner, Chief Operating Officer of the Delivery Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, will brief CREF on how The Bahamas is prioritizing renewables, what to expect from the new policy and regulatory framework, and what the changing landscape means for international investors.
Including the Blockchain Happy Hour, hosted by Roy Torbert of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
Early risers and networkers join us for a guided 5k run starting at Bayfront Park!
Join us for a networking breakfast to meet and exchange ideas on the importance of women in the energy industry. What does it mean to have women in energy in the Caribbean? How can we build our networks? How do you build the courage needed to make an impact and have a seat at the table? At the breakfast, we’ll hear from women who are driving change and innovation in the energy sector, discuss what it means to be a woman in Caribbean energy, and exchange ideas around ways to increase the presence of women in the Caribbean renewables industry. Following remarks from former CEO of JPS, Kelly Tomblin and others we’ll host a group discussion around ways to improve the Caribbean energy sector for women.
On the occasion of CREF’s 10th Anniversary, a sweeping discussion designed to reflect on how far we’ve come, and to set the compass for the decade ahead. Ten years ago the Caribbean was powered by diesel; today, the mix – solar, storage, wind, gas – is diverse. What were the catalysts for transformation and how much, ultimately, was defined by economics? Priorities have changed, too. Cost and reliability are still vital, but driving the agenda today are discussions around energy independence and resiliency. As we look back, what can we learn and what would we do differently? What are the big decisions facing energy leaders today? What advances and technologies are coming down the pipe which will transform the region in the years ahead?
Optimized energy systems are efficient, more resilient, and enable increased penetrations of intermittent renewables. What new tools, technologies, and strategies do utilities and their customers have to reduce peak demand? How do electric vehicles play in an optimized grid? Can we, like US utility PG&E, align EV charging with peak renewable energy generation? What of public transport as quasi-energy storage units? How can policy-makers support optimized energy usage on island grids? What can we learn from the Nova Scotia experience?
The landscape for the financing of projects across the Caribbean is changing. A new priority for resilient projects is increasing project costs, while the driver behind that trend - the increased likelihood of extreme weather events - is driving up soft costs such as insurance. This session will explore project development in the region through the lens of the capital providers. What do the changes in the market mean for the bankability of the regional pipeline and how are they impacting the way in which providers of debt and equity look at opportunities in the region?
Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have all recently completed, or are close to completing, much-anticipated IRPs which will define generation needs, objectives and investment for the decades ahead. This session will gather energy sector leaders from those jurisdictions to explore key insights and lessons learned from the IRP process. Panelists will also showcase key findings, and outline opportunities for international investors.
Much-hyped new funding programs have the potential to transform the regional energy system. Which governments and which organizations are behind these initiatives and how will we deploy? How do we leverage government and multilateral support to attract private capital into the regional energy sector? How can we channel new capital from impact investors into regional projects?
What do we mean when we talk about microgrids in the context of island grids? As they proliferate, how can policies be developed to encourage smart growth of microgrids, i.e. deployment in valuable locations, and to attract innovative investors? How can microgrids participate in the market when they’re not utility-owned? How are islands approaching the regulation of microgrids? How are the DFIs getting involved? What is the role of private finance?
Competition is fierce among suppliers of natural gas to the Caribbean and, perhaps as a corollary, the market appears to be expanding. Is this a transition fuel or is gas here to stay - and does the distinction matter? In Jamaica and Puerto Rico, gas suppliers are finding a market in industrial customers. What are the economics for industrial offtakers and where are the opportunities? How is the burgeoning market for solar and storage impacting prospects for investment in natural gas?
The market for solar and storage among commercial and industrial customers in the Caribbean is poised to take off. Panelists will explore hot regional markets, discuss how projects can be structured to attract investors, and analyze regional success stories.
In an era of solar, storage and microgrids, what is geothermal's role in the regional energy matrix? How resilient is geothermal vs. other forms of generation? Is geothermal a competitor or complement to solar and storage? How does pricing compare? Will strong multilateral support ultimately lead to a robust geothermal sector? To include an update on progress towards projects in Dominica, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, SVG, and Dominica.
This session will convene leading developers and investors to explore where, how and on what terms biomass makes sense in the Caribbean. Panelists will explore: