The CARICOM community continues it progress on renewable energy targets despite financial constraints and political will varied by country. Organizational leaders will meet next month to sign an agreement and officially launch the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in Barbados. CARICOM leaders are taking climate change seriously – T& T Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, spoke to leaders at the recent Energy Security Summit in Washington D.C. saying that given the “enormous scale” of resources in the region, renewable energy should be contributing more to the energy needs and increasing prospects of energy security.
Devon Gardner, CREF 2016 speaker and program manager at the CARICOM Secretariat, said funding of renewable energy projects continues to be a challenge and to achieve Caricom’s renewable energy targets successfully. An estimated US$30 billion is required with half going to new investments and half earmarked for repairs to infrastructure. Because funding from regional public sector institutions does not exist, Gardner believes it should be taken from international funding agencies. Gardner says that the right kind of governance arrangement could provide some public financing and attract investments from the private sector.