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CDB Steps up Renewable Energy Drive

Bridgetown, Barbados—The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has stepped up its drive to encourage public and private sector investments in sustainable energy—energy efficiency and renewable energy projects as a matter of priority, in spite of lower oil prices. Totessa this end, the bank is expanding the range of funding and technical assistance programmes that can be tapped by governments and commercial interests.


Head of the Bank’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Unit, Tessa Williams-Robertson said the multi-lateral funding agency was particularly keen to support projects in solar, wind and geothermal energy, as priorities, but would support other renewable energy options such as bio-energy. “We are looking at the inclusion of renewable energy and energy efficiency components in all of our projects wherever the opportunity presents itself,” Williams-Robertson said.


This approach is consistent with the CDB’s Climate Resilience Strategy, which recognises the critical role of sustainable energy in achieving climate resilience, and contributes to the achievement of targets set within the CARICOM Sustainable Energy Strategy. Williams-Robertson advised that the bank is now developing special products to support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects on concessionary terms. 


Two such special facilities are the geothermal energy development facility and the proposed Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean (SEEC) Programme. The bank is in discussions with donors and contributors on the establishment of the geothermal facility. 


Last year CDB, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum of co-operation to collaborate on the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Eastern Caribbean, with a special focus on geothermal energy development.


“Our objective is to support the development of geothermal—from exploration, studies, all the way through to field development and plant installation. Developing geothermal is not low cost, and much of the investment will need to come from the private sector. “It is also highly technical covering a range of disciplines; so it makes sense for us to work with credible developers/investors who have the capacity and the experience,” Williams-Robertson explained in a recent interview. 


The SEEC is under consideration by EU Caribbean Investment Fund and DfID for grant funding, and is now in the final stages of approval. CDB has made energy security a cross-cutting theme in its new Strategic Plan 2015 to 2019. This means that energy security is a consideration in all of the technical assistance and investment projects which CDB finances.




Category/ies:Bahamas News, Funding Opportunities, Funding Source, News.
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