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Solar power coming to T&T schools; government takes steps towards a transition to renewable energy

Trinidad and Tobago’s oil and gas resources are finite and one day, it would either run out or lose its value, warned Energy and Energy Affairs Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan.

The minister was speaking during the formal launch of the United Nations Association of TT (UNATT) and the UN Development Programme Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (UNDP GEF SGP) entitled “Mainstreaming Renewable Energy in Schools Project” at the Hotel Normandie, in St Ann’s, yesterday.

UNATT has entered into an agreement with UNDP GEF SGP to introduce alternative energy to secondary school students.

The project involves installing solar stills and grid-tied or stand- alone solar energy generation devices in nine secondary schools in TT with the stills producing distilled water and the electricity powering equipment and lighting in laboratories.

Seepersad-Bachan said this was the main reason Government has placed a high level of priority and importance on renewable energy, whether from the wind, sun or even geothermal energy, describing the venture as a “ground-breaking event for our nation.”

She said the project would serve to create an awareness and practical knowledge of alternative energy and also help to create a deeper sense of environmental responsibility among the students, and through them the wider population and promised the full support of her ministry.

Seepersad-Bachan said TT has a long history in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.

“We have been in the oil business for more than 100 years and we are one of the world’s leaders in the production and monetisation of our natural gas, as well as in petrochemicals.

“Conventional energy remains the lifeblood of our economy and between June 2010 and today, we have taken several successful strategic approaches to revitalising exploration,” she said.

Seepersad-Bachan said with the history of the non-renewable energy side of the industry, Government has realised that the nation’s continuity, energy security and survival hinged on the ability to create the environment where a transition from non- renewable, to renewable could take place.

She said renewable energy and energy efficiency were key elements of this country’s drive for long term energy security that could potentially result in significant national benefits including a reduction in greenhouse gas emission, economic diversification, institutionalised energy efficient practices and lifestyles, and overall national development including new business and employment opportunities.

Seepersad-Bachan said Government was committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the most efficient use of the nation’s natural resources.



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