Energy stakeholders meet in Bahamas


NASSAU, Bahamas — Key energy stakeholders will gather in Nassau, Bahamas, later this month to take account of the region’s transition to greater sustainable production and use.

Representatives of public and private sector entities, senior officials of national, regional and international institutions and industry experts will join energy ministers of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states at the fifth Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF). More than 100 participants are expected at CSEF V which will be held 23-25 January 2017.

CSEF V is a CARICOM Secretariat event organised in collaboration with the government of The Bahamas. Support for the staging of the forum is being provided by: the US government, through the Organisation of American States (OAS); the German ministry of economic cooperation and development (BMZ), through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) executed renewable energy and energy efficiency technical assistance (REETA) programme; the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund; the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); and the World Bank through the SIDS DOCK Support Programme.

Over the three days, participants will home in on the CARICOM energy policy, which was approved in 2013 and the Caribbean sustainable energy roadmap and strategy (C-SERMS) with a view to focusing on policy, planning and decision support mechanisms to enable game-changing investment to transform the regional energy matrix.

The specific objectives of CSEF V are to:

• Identify and agree on modalities for validating the mid-term [2022] and long-term [2027] C-SERMS targets.

• Propose actions through which member states are able to attract the “right type of capital” to support long-term sustainable energy production and use.

The CARICOM Energy Programme said that the CSEF V will seek to catalyse consensus among stakeholders around what they are prepared to do to further define and support the long-term [2027] commitments that are necessary for energy transformation within CARICOM.

In an interview with New Energy Events, energy programme manager at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr Devon Gardner said that the forum will provide a greater understanding of what had taken place since the last CSEF and since the regional energy policy and C-SERMS were approved.

He anticipated that at CSEF V, there would be some amount of coalescence among the major actions or priority areas on which the region should work over the next 10 years. He added that a realignment of the targets might be necessary. Another possible outcome, he said, would be the identification and agreement of potential roles of stakeholders to drive the transformation to sustainable energy.

CSEF was established as a biennial sustainable energy event in the Community. The previous events were held in July 2008 in Grenada, in June 2010 in Jamaica, in September 2012 in St Kitts and Nevis, and in November 2014 in Barbados.

The forum is intended to facilitate dialogue and actions towards the adoption of more robust policies and the transfer of appropriate technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency in CARICOM. It seeks ultimately to enhance stakeholder support and contribution to diversification of the regional energy supply from its current fossil fuels base to a mix that includes significant renewable sources.