The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) “Bioenergy in the Caribbean” project focused on fostering dialogue and building capacity for sustainable energy services for small island developing states through South-South cooperation. The project sought to unite various regional stakeholders in order to enhance knowledge and application of renewable energy systems, and identify barriers and possible solutions to their implementation.
To this end, a number of training workshops were held for the Electric Utilities and various educators in a number of islands. Additionally, national focus group consultations were convened to allow actors in various critical sectors (e.g. agriculture, tourism, water and electric utilities, private sector, civil society) to engage around issues of energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, national policies, and relevant plans and initiatives.
In 2009, the UNDP and the Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS), headquartered at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in Kingston, Jamaica signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enable, on a non-exclusive basis, citizens and governments within the Caribbean region and globally to access data and information compiled during the “Bioenergy in the Caribbean” project. CEIS and UNDP Barbados have collaboratively constructed the “Bioenergy in the Caribbean” project page hosted on Caribbean Information Platform on Renewable Energy (CIPORE). The page, now officially launched, offers users access to the substantive outputs from the project including consultation reports, status reports and research documents.
Also significant was the establishment of a regional knowledge management hub for renewable energy- CIPORE- a landmark project, where UNDP jointly participated in its launch. This platform is seen as a valuable tool to enhance sharing and partnerships across the region in the area of sustainable energy development. UNDP Barbados has also assisted in the development of a renewable energy projects database hosted on the CIPORE (www.cipore.org)- the region’s premier renewable energy information platform for information & communication.
CIPORE was developed by the CEIS and funded through CARICOM and UNDP/GEF under the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP). The Scientific Research Council/CEIS currently manage the Platform with the support of the CEIS Focal Points. The regional platform was launched in April 2009.
In May 2009, due to its broad regional membership, involvement in the CREDP and technical experience, the Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS) was selected by UNDP as its partner for an assessment of the national and regional energy initiatives implemented between 1999 and 2008 (10 years) in the region. This aimed to assess the impact of these initiatives on the security and sustainability of the Caribbean energy sector.
The first phase of the survey was conducted by CEIS in nine countries: Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guyana, Dominica, Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba and Grenada. The second Phase of the project will see the extension of the assessment to seven other countries in the network.
Under the “Bioenergy in the Caribbean” project this survey collected information on projects implemented over the ten years, which is accessible through the Projects Database located in the Information section of the CIPORE website. Management of this renewable energy information portal and the projects database is carried out by CEIS and will benefit all stakeholders due to its location, ease of access.
CIPORE currently averages over 250,000 hits per month since its launch.
Caribbean Energy Information System
Scientific Research Council,