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Acting President of Guyana lauds CARICOM Secretariat on energy efforts

Acting President of the Republic Of Guyana, Honourable Samuel Hinds, has applauded the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat for its commitment to pursuing a more programmatic approach to the development of the Region’s energy Sector. Delivering brief remarks at the opening ceremony of the Thirty-Fifth Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Energy at the CARICOM Secretariat Thursday morning, Mr. Hinds said the establishment of an Energy Unit in the Secretariat underscored the importance of the sector as a key ingredient to economic development, increased competitiveness and sustainable development.

The Acting President, who led Guyana’s delegation to the one-day Energy Meeting, referred to oil fluctuation challenges that threatened the Region’s economies from as far back as the first “oil shock” in the 1970’s.

“While some countries are somewhat insulated from the price fluctuations by virtue of the inherent natural resource advantages, many of our CARICOM countries have been compelled to adopt innovative mechanisms to protect our economies and our people. It is a fact that quite often, Governments need to soften the impact of high oil process on certain sectors and vulnerable groups, Mr. Hinds said.

He brought the Meeting up to date on progress regarding energy development in Guyana through the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project, which he said was “set to transform Guyana’s electricity sector towards almost 100 per cent renewable energy”.

The development of Guyana’s vast hydropower resources, he said, had been a long anticipated dream and, since 1994, Guyana’s energy policy had identified hydropower as a strategic energy resource for development.

“Guyana’s recently concluded Power Sector Policy and Agro Energy Policy also set the tone for the diversification of Guyana’s energy matrix. Guyana’s leadership in the Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, REDD+ has positioned Guyana as a model for the World through the articulation of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy,” the Acting President said.

The development of renewable energy sources was also highlighted by Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, Acting Secretary-General of CARICOM, in her address to the Meeting. Apart from the 150-megawatt Amaila falls Project, Ambassador Applewhaite also referred to the solar water heating industry in Barbados, the wind and hydro capacity of Jamaica and its introduction of biofuels for transportation. The Acting Secretary-General pointed out that Belize, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica, derived a significant part of their energy supply from hydro power, while other countries, led by St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica were advancing their geothermal developments. Trinidad and Tobago, the Community’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, was identified as also advancing its renewable energy policy and its range of incentives to promote renewable energy.

Consideration of a Draft CARICOM Energy Policy, an analysis of the energy situation in CARICOM and responses to it, Sustainable Energy Development in CARICOM, and Integration of Energy Infrastructure, were among the items on the Meeting’s agenda.

Category/ies:Regional News.
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