Author: Jeevan A. Robinson | Date: 10 October 2016
The 2016 EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference is presently taking place in Barbados.
The conference will run from October 10-11th, 2016. It is a joint EU-CARICOM/CARIFORUM initiative which is designed to foster partnerships between the European Union, the Caribbean, development partners and the private sector. Furthermore, the conference also aims to work towards unfolding the potential of the Caribbean region; and leveraging investment towards achieving the region's renewable energy goals.
Montserrat's renewable energy policy, championed over the last two years by The Honourable Minister with responsibility for Energy, Paul Lewis, was today a key feature at the conference.
Delegates at the conference were treated to a presentation delivered by Minister Lewis, as part of a Ministerial panel, that gave more insight into Montserrat's renewable energy plans and actions thus far, to encompass geothermal development and solar.
The Ministerial Panel was incorporated into the conference so as to "understand the vision of each country’s energy future, taking into account its past and present conditions, highlighting successes and the key challenges that lie ahead."
Most importantly however, it was the Renewable Energy Policy that has been developed, and pushed heavily by Minister Lewis and his technicians within the Ministry with responsibility for Energy on Montserrat, that the Energy Conference organisers have noted as a true model of what can be achieved by other islands.
Minister Lewis was invited by special request to be a part of this Ministerial panel by the conference facilitators as it presented a great opportunity for him to present the progress Montserrat has made, and also the organisers shared their view that Minister Lewis' presence on the Ministerial panel would have been critical towards the "overall purpose and outcome of the EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference. "
Minister Lewis sat on a panel that included:
- Sen. The Hon. Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Barbados
- The Hon Ian Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and
Transport, St. Kitts & Nevis
- The Hon. Frank Mena, Minister of Public Service, Energy and Public Utilities, Belize
- Mr. Ernesto Vilalta, Deputy Minister of Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mines,
- The Hon. Raphael Trotman, Minister for Natural Resources, Guyana
- Dr. The Hon. Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Jamaica
It is known that CARICOM has set a region-wide target of a 47% share of renewables to be installed towards generating capacity up until 2027.
For Montserrat, the target set by CARICOM is 34% renewable by 2027.
However, the Energy Policy of Minister Lewis and his Ministry, is for Montserrat to be 100% renewable by 2020; way surpassing the CARICOM set target of 34% by 2027.
With geothermal development making progress, and major announcements on solar energy soon to come, Montserrat is well on its way.
Hence the relevance of Minister Lewis' presence, and active participation via invitation, at this 2016 EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference.