Barbados hosts CDB sustainable energy workshop

Representatives of Caribbean businesses, along with financiers and government officers in the clean energy sector, will get a better understanding of how to plan and prepare for bankable projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency this week.

Some 30 project owners, developers, funders, financiers and consultants from several Caribbean countries are attending a regional workshop in Barbados on financing tools and approaches for sustainable energy projects.

The workshop is organised by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat supported by the government of Germany, through the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Project; the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Project (CREDP); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and CDB.

The overall objective is to facilitate the development of investment grade calculations and risk mitigation for securing investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy systems and services. The workshop is one in a series of capacity building initiatives facilitated by CDB.

“CDB is particularly focused on bridging the existing gap of appropriate financing for the development of Sustainable Energy in the Region. To achieve this, the Bank recognises the need to strengthen local and regional capacity, including that of the financial sector. This workshop…is part of this strategy,” said Tessa Williams-Robertson, head of CDB’s REEE Unit.

According to Dr. Devon Garner, Programme Manager, Energy, CARICOM Secretariat, the CARICOM Energy Programme places importance on financing and mechanisms for supporting energy projects.

Garner disclosed that the work of the CARICOM Energy Programme was organised along four integrated thematic paths which included knowledge management and capacity building, and that these integrated paths had financial links and implications.

Senator Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados with responsibility for energy, noted that the workshop was well timed.

“This workshop has come at an opportune time when CARICOM governments have embraced sustainable energy in their policy agenda as a way of increasing the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. It is evident that the potential for the use of indigenous alternative energy sources in the region is substantial. These resources are both varied and abundant. The only obstacle standing in our way is the inherent resolve to utilize these resources for the benefit of the people of the region and to translate this potential into actual realization,” Boyce said.

Participants will delve into: life/project cycle cost calculations; dynamic economic calculations for energy projects; calculation tools for energy projects; calculation and modeling of actual energy projects.

“The main objective of this workshop, which targets owners, developers (including utilities), funders, financiers and consultants of sustainable energy projects, is to facilitate the development of investment grade calculations and risk mitigation of sustainable energy projects, aimed at securing investments in energy efficiency, and renewable energy systems and services,” said Dr. Andreas Taeuber, head of Project REETA.

CDB’s emphasis on sustainable energy is in response to long-standing energy security concerns, including the relatively high cost of energy imports and the impact on economic competitiveness for the majority of borrowing member countries (BMCs). A radical shift in the supply and use of energy to reduce the dependency on imported fuel is urgently required, particularly in the context of persistent economic challenges. CDB’s Energy Policy articulates a vision for “the transformation of the energy sector to significantly increase energy security and sustainability, enabling economic growth.”