April 29th, 2021 saw the launch of the eagerly anticipated CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub (CEKH) and deployment according to determined benchmarks. Implementation was executed by an external consulting firm, who guided attendees through the key features of the CEKH while Mr. Simon Zellner, Programme Leader for the “Climate Resilient and Sustainable Energy Supply in the Caribbean” Cli-Res project, remarked that the platform “looks really good already” after viewing the Hub for the first time. Further, Nadia Mohammed – Programme Officer for the SIDS Lighthouse Initiative at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) – expressed that the CEKH looks great, and she is glad to see the Hub finally come to life.
Ms Mohammed previously worked with the CARICOM Energy Unit where the CEKH was previously piloted. At that time, the Hub primarily consisted of pathfinding to websites and databases of relevance to the regional energy sector. The CEKH has now been expanded and the new applications include a Learning Management System (LMS), Community of Practice, Document Repository, and a GIS Map Viewer.
The CEKH also boasts a few test courses which consist of material from previously delivered webinars, within the LMS. As a part of the commitment of the CCREEE to ensure that regional energy sector personnel are able to critically assess the work of external consultants and eventually be able to more actively participate in energy systems planning, the CCREEE is gearing up to launch its first course on the platform with IRRP stakeholders in St Kitts and Nevis. Other courses to be uploaded to the LMS in the upcoming quarter include EV Train the Trainers course and a LEAP Training course.
The GIS Map Viewer includes visual representation of various renewable energy parameters across the region and is consistently being assessed to expand the available resources. Likewise, Energy Report Cards (ERCs) are a key feature of the CEKH. The final validation and design of the 2020 ERCs (using 2019 data) is underway. Seven 2020 ERCs have been published while 5 are in the draft stage. Meanwhile, work is underway for the development of 2021 (2020 data) Energy Report Cards.
Two engagements were conducted with data collection supervisors and interns to improve the data collection process. The first, CCREEE Information Session: Supporting Sustainable Energy Investment Decisions was held on May 19th. This session – presented jointly with the PPF team – focused on the importance of quality energy sector data in making informed investment and policy decisions for the sector. The second session was hosted at the kick-off of the Energy Report Card Data Collection Exercise on June 28th. Here, supervisors and interns were taken through a detailed look at the data to be collected during this year’s exercise. Interns have been engaged in 14 of the 15 member states to collect data for the 2021 Energy Report Cards.
The data collected from the Energy Report Cards will also form a critical element of the next phase of the CEKH – an online data entry portal. This portal will allow for searches on specific data sets and compiling of user specific reports. Proposals for this system are currently being reviewed for implementation in Q3.
Uploading of content and forging partnerships to link with other databases continues. Some of the partnerships being explored include NREL, OLADE, CARILEC, Clinton Climate Initiative and the CESaRE Journal.
At the end of June, 217 persons had joined the CEKH community. We invite you to join the community as well by registering here. Join to experience its many features, including the Community of Practice where you can share your ideas and have your questions about the regional energy sector answered.