Energy development talk at the Caribbean Energy Security Summit

The countries of the Caribbean should, in theory, be at the forefront of the renewable energy movement what with the abundance of sun, wind and water available for their harnessing. Yet, the region is plagued with having some of the highest electricity bills, sometimes as high as four times that of richer countries. It is agreed that this dependency on fossil fuels needs to change for the Caribbean to realize its economic potential, and in the last week of January 2015, a meeting of the region's leaders at the Caribbean Energy Security Summit, along with United States representation from Vice-President Joe Biden, was held in Washington D.C. with the purpose of facilitating talks about the development of renewable energy sources in the Caribbean.


A recent study by the World Banks put forward that seven of the Eastern Caribbean States, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Grenada, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, have the potential for geothermal energy production, along with the biomass, wind, solar, and marine power potential possessed by the other regional countries. These founts of renewable energy still lay largely untapped, with the abundance of the energy coming still from oil and gas. Worse yet is that this is expected to remain the status quo for some time. This would leave Haiti, still with less than 30% of its households without permanent sources of electricity, in the dark for some time to come.

Steps to bring green energy to the region include the assistance of the World Bank to give support to individual governments as they seek to overhaul their current systems. At the summit, a Caribbean Energy Investment Network was set in motion as the eyes of investors from around the world turned towards the Caribbean following success in islands like Jamaica to make energy less expensive by certain reforms such as the reduction of retail tariffs, an increase in supply reliability and the use of renewable sources of energy.

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