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Antigua & Barbuda is getting assistance from Caricom in developing a framework for the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to ultimately reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.

Antigua & Barbuda is getting assistance from Caricom in developing a framework for the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency to ultimately reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.

At the start of the year Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announced the creation of a Sustainable Energy Desk in the Office of the Prime Minister as part of the vision to lead Antigua & Barbuda from being totally dependent on fossil fuels to engaging in a diversification in the country’s energy mix.

At a press conference on Friday Thomas Scheutzlich, principal advisor of the Caribbean Renewal Energy Development programme – a programme supported by the German government and implemented by Caricom Secretariat – said the organisation is willing to support governments in creating a favourable framework conditions for renewable energy efficiency which includes assistance in resource assessments, policy framework, energy policies capacity building, network and international best practices.

Scheutzlich, noted, however, that energy efficiency starts with a change in behaviour.

“ It’s a matter of behaviour. Just using human behaviour could contribute to a cut of 10 -20 per cent without any policy changes or legislation. Just if consumers are aware of how to use energy efficiently can contribute to a cut of 10 – 20 per cent here in Antigua & Barbuda and the rest of the Caribbean.

The advisor said even before shelving diesel engines, which are currently generating nearly all of Antigua & Barbuda’s electricity, conservative use of power could produce significant savings.

Scheutzlich said simple measures like changing light bulbs and other equipment could reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 – 40 per cent.

“  That is the first activity a country should do before you even think about renewable energy. They are the immediate and effective way of reducing the amount of energy used.”

The advisor said the country’s options for renewable energy are limited to wind and solar power.

“ We estimate that we have in Antigua and in Barbuda 50 megawatts to contribute to a cut of peak demand by 10 per cent, a considerable contribution to reduce demand for fossil fuel.

A member of the Caricom team, Carlton James, advocacy communications advisor to Caricom Secretariat, said the team has been on a swing through the region over the last 12 months, where they have had interactions with minsters of energy, in some cases ministers of the environment, Cabinet members, as well as utility and oil companies, private investors and hoteliers who have interest in setting up renewable energy operations.

“ It is already happening,” he said, of the change,” but more could happen given the range of renewable energy resources that exist in the region.”



Category/ies:Antigua & Barbuda News.
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