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Dr. Winston Moore, lecturer in the Department of Economics of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

One dollar out of every three dollars of imports for the countries of CARICOM is spent on imported energy, and that is a clear indication of the potential that the region has as it relates to the development of renewable energy.



That’s according to Dr. Winston Moore, lecturer in the Department of Economics of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. He added that renewable energy therefore, if properly developed, can reduce the dependence that Caribbean economies have on fossil fuels. His comments came as he spoke yesterday on the topic ‘Advancing Renewable Energy in the Caribbean’ during a regional workshop hosted by the Institute for Gender & Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, under the theme ‘Caribbean Partnerships for Economic Justice and Sustainability’.



The economist said that a number of the countries in the Caribbean can follow the route that Aruba has taken, and set a target of 100 per cent renewable energy and while storage may currently be a concern, he said scientists predict that within another few years storage of this form of energy will probably no longer be an issue. With that in mind, he said that to enable this transition, there must be public sector leadership. He made that point as he noted that in Jamaica for example, 12 per cent of the national energy consumption is used by the public sector, equating to approximately US$10.4 million a month. Moreover, he said that Jamaica is pursuing a number of initiatives to reduce their energy consumption and by extension the money spent on energy which can be replicated across the region; these include efficient street lighting, solar water heaters and the sealing of windows and doors in office buildings.



“As we saw in Jamaica, a large part of the energy needs go to public sector and so if we can get more renewable energy going into the public sector it would be good,” he added.



Additionally, Dr. Moore noted that private sector investment, transparency, regulation and incentives for homeowners and the private sector, as have been provided in Barbados, would also ensure successful transition to renewable energy in other countries within the region.



“The most important thing from my perspective however, in relation to renewable energy as an economist, would be having a fairly transparent system of pushing renewable energy on to the grid and regulation as well and reducing the uncertainty. So for example in Barbados, if you install a PV system on your house you actually get a 10-year contract and it gives you a level of certainty because you know that you are definitely going to make back your money,” he said. (JRT)




Category/ies:Articles, Barbados Articles, Jamaica Articles, Regional Articles.
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