CARICOM Energy Month 2021 Launches!

CARICOM Energy Month 2021 Launches!

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in collaboration with The Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), key regional institutions, development partners and Member States celebrates CARICOM Energy Month (CEM) 2021, throughout the month of November.

Energy remains a strategic priority for all CARICOM countries, as the region confronts unprecedented challenges in a worsening climate, the ongoing public health crisis, and declining economies. These, and other, issues are captured in this year’s theme: ‘From Dependence to Resilience: Fueling our Recovery with Sustainable Energy’ as the region that is seized, in particular, with the increasingly volatile global oil prices, which are at a record seven-year high, is seeking to decouple its economy from imported fossil fuels, which provides more than 80% of its energy needs.

The Month constitutes Regional events, which run concurrent with events that are part of National Energy Months within the respective countries. Regional events are organized by the CARICOM Secretariat, in partnership with the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) and European Union (EU) co-funded Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC) will be conducted virtually, on account of the ongoing COVID-19 measures in Member States.

CEM 2021 will kick off with a virtual Gameshow exploring the nexus of energy and water in resilient economies. Highlighted within the Month include activities that are focused on youth engagement, especially the CARICOM Energy Youth Forum that targets persons between the ages of 15 and 35 years old, as well as a Green Education and Energy Career Day that will highlight many of the emerging opportunities and pathways for future jobs and careers within the sustainable energy sector within the region.

Critically, as world leaders assemble [at COP26] to make decisions on issues, including energy, that are linked to global climate change, the activities of CEM are focused on the engagement of decision-makers, from the public sector (policy and regulations) and industry (business and investments), who will join academics and other civil society actors at the Seventh Edition of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF-VII) from the 22nd to 25th November. Held biennially, this year’s Forum will be hosted in collaboration with the Government of Barbados and would feature a diverse mix of speakers, including Heads of
Governments and Ministers, business and thought-leaders, and sector experts.

The Forum is expected to explore, among other things, the requirements that are necessary for accelerated deployment of region-appropriate technologies, from commercially-mature solar and wind opportunities to the emerging marine and hydrogen options, as well as issues ranging from policies to regulations to financing. The Forum will feature technical sessions, country-focused sessions and an international Business to Business session.

According to Dr. Devon Gardner, Head of the Energy Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat: “CARICOM Energy Month 2021 provides a clear and present opportunity for CARICOM stakeholders, as well as global partners who are interested in supporting sustainable energy development within the region, to examine, and agree on, practical approaches for “transitioning CARICOM countries” to new energy ecosystems that support resilience-building.” Gardner stated that this must be done through the intelligent use of renewable energy technologies, energy efficiency measures and other distributed energy applications (including battery storage and electric vehicles) that are currently available within the more mature segments of the markets, whilst simultaneously paying attention to the emerging options and opportunities for island-appropriate marine renewable and hydrogen technologies that are becoming increasingly available and cost-effective.

The CARICOM Secretariat looks forward to celebrating CARICOM Energy Month 2021, with you!