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Government discusses green plan for Cayman


Cayman’s days of fossil fuel could be nearing an end if government becomes convinced it can be weaned off the fossil fuel fix. Environment Minister Hon. Wayne Panton and Finance Minister Hon. Marco Archer recently returned from entrepreneur billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s energy summit in the British Virgin Islands.


They will now take their experience to caucus to decide whether the Cayman Islands will be one of 10 caribbean countries to become 100 percent fossil fuel free.


Social scientist Nicholas Robson says he hopes government considers signing up. “Carbon War Room for this exercise approximately has $400 million for funding. This is not funding Carbon War Room is giving out. This is funding through World Bank, Caribbean Development Bank and other funding agencies. They all want to work with regional islands on such an important project, which will fund itself because of the reduction in energy costs,” he said.


Ministers Panton and Archer sent Cayman 27 a joint statement:


“We attended the Renewable Energy conference and the Ten Island Challenge put on by the Carbon War Room and hosted by Sir Richard Branson. Firstly we would like to thank Sir Richard for being such a gracious host and his commitment to such an important issue. We are also thankful to the government of the British Virgin Islands for looking after us the way they did. 

The event featured some very useful and stimulating discussions regarding phased conversions to renewable energy production for both the national grid and for distributed production which may feed into the national grid, ? Much of the discussions featured the various technologies, financing the same and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each type of technology.  Some groups discussed discussed the implementation of renewable energy technology on a project basis while others did utility scale implementation.
It was clear from discussions that our cost of electricity is on the lower range of those found in neighbouring islands but it is nevertheless important for our country to embrace renewable energy as it has the potential to lower the cost of living and doing business, provide new industries and opportunities for economic diversification, growth and job creation?, significantly improve our balance of payments (by reducing our eliminating the outflow of a hundred million dollars plus to pay for fossil fuel). It goes without saying that this will involve significant environmental benefits and be an important contributor to climate change initiatives as well.
The renewable energy initiative is undoubtedly a potential win win situation? and fits within the policy of this Government to lessen, minimise and eventually eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels for energy production and perhaps even transportation  in the country. The benefits will be as outlined above and the technologies that can deliver this includes solar, wind power and ocean thermal energy conversion. There are examples of other Caribbean islands making great strides and while the use of renewables including solar and wind power is currently in development for the country this government intends to take the steps to advance the introduction of renewable energy initiatives to deliver the noted benefits to the country.”


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