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Barbados proposed as home for regional energy centre

Barbados has been identified as the home of a new regional renewable energy initiative, and a top advocate from the sector is giving the decision the thumbs up.

The Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) is a proposal by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).

It is up for consideration by the CARICOM Heads of Government who begin their 36th summit at the Hilton tomorrow.

The revised provisional agenda, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY, explained that the function of the CCREEE was to act as a hub for CARICOM policy, roadmap and strategy in renewable energy.

“[It aims] to support and coordinate the execution of regional Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) programmes, projects and activities within CARICOM and to enhance the environment for sustainable energy investments and markets in the region.

“It will have an explicit technical mandate and is expected to be action and service oriented in its operations,” according to the document.

Executive Director of the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) Clyde Griffith has welcomed the proposed centre, saying he believed it would be of great benefit to Barbados and the region.

Executive director of the BREA Clyde Griffith.

Executive director of the BREA Clyde Griffith.

“It will focus attention on Barbados as virtually the renewable energy hub in Latin America and the Caribbean and I hope people will see it that way. In addition to that, we are establishing a profile as the country, which will be looking at a 100 per cent renewable energy, that is part of out purpose,” Griffith told Barbados TODAY.

His enthusiasm comes on the heels of the recent implementation of licenses and taxes on the energy sector, measures Griffith maintained needed to be reviewed.

“I think we need to look at that very carefully as I understand it, we have been asked to help shape some kind of better understanding on this issue and I am very hesitant about what I say but I happen to know that there is some disquiet about the licensing, disquiet about the taxing.”

A number of international organizations will foot the bill for the proposed renewable centre, and member states will not be required to make “financial contributions” for its operations, according to the COTED proposal.

“The proposed Centre would be established with the assistance of the United Nations industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Sustainable Island Initiative (SIDS DOCK).  The Austrian Government and the German Government have committed resources in excess of two million Euros to support the first operation phase of the centre.”

Other development partners include the government of Spain, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which the document said had indicated a “willingness to support the operations of the Centre upon its establishment.”

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