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Third CSEF to Focus on Integrating Regional Energy Systems

CARICOM Energy Ministers will hold intense dialogue in order to advance efforts to integrate the energy systems within Member States at the upcoming Third Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum & Exhibition.

The CSEF III will be held in St. Kitts September 13-14 under the theme “Advancing Energy Integration and Energy Access through Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in CARICOM”.

The Forum will place specific focus on the identification of strategies for functional cooperation among Member States in pursuit of the further development of the regional energy sector. CSEF III is also intended to facilitate input by stakeholders into the design of a regional level action plan that would be the basis for a coordinated approach to action in that regard.

While the CARICOM Secretariat is playing the lead organizing role for the Forum, other key sponsors include the Governments of Finland, the UK, Germany and European Union.

According to Joseph Williams, Programme Manager, Energy CARICOM Secretariat, through the third staging of the biennial CSEF it is intended that the critical role of the Region’s abundant renewable energy resources in facilitating energy integration in the Caribbean and access to clean energy will be further explored and established.

“This staging of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum is historic for the CARICOM Secretariat, with respect to the lead role it is playing in organizing a Regional energy forum of this kind. In a real sense, this year’s event also represents the elevation of the Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy matters in the Community’s Agenda. CSEF III is being staged against the backdrop of the Region’s continued search for adequate response to the major energy sector challenges and indeed the national development challenges for most countries,” he said.

One of the most critical challenges for most countries, he said, is the lack of energy security reflected in lack of affordability of energy linked to their over-dependence on imported petroleum and it derivatives while all countries grapple with the matter of lack of energy sustainability in the context of the climate change.

Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Sam Condor spoke on the issue of cooperation in new and Renewable Energy at the Second Caribbean-Korea High Level Forum held in Seoul, Korea on July 31st. He highlighted the fact that Renewable Energy will contribute greatly to sustainable development in the overall development of the nations of the Caribbean Region and indeed, of the world.

“The principle pillar of the St. Kitts and Nevis Government’s National Energy Policy contemplates energy as a tool to achieve Sustainable Development. The vision of the Federation as purported by the National Energy Policy is to become an Island Nation with a sustainable energy sector where reliable, renewable, clean and affordable energy services are provided to all citizens,” he said.

“Realizing this objective necessitates a comprehensive transition towards a more sustainable energy balance. Thus, my Government actively pursues all avenues that will secure the necessary partnerships toward the attainment of this goal.”

St. Kitts-Nevis has engaged in several initiatives in renewable energy, including geothermal-based, wind-based and solar-based. While the Nevis geothermal project has stalled, the island operates a 2MW wind farm, the first of its kind in the OECS.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas; Energy and Utilities Minister Hon. Asim Martin; and Hon. Carlisle Powell, Minister of Energy in the Nevis Island Administration are expected to make presentations at the important Forum.

Category/ies:Regional News.
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