A two day Validation Workshop on the Needs Assessment and Project Document for the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) has commenced in Dominica.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in cooperation with SIDS DOCK (represented by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) are assisting Caribbean Countries in the establishment of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE).
The initiative follows-up on an official request of SIDS DOCK to UNIDO and the Austrian Government to assist in the creation of regional sustainable energy centers for SIDS in the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa and the Indian Ocean.
The proposal for the creation of such a Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Centre of Excellence responds to the difficult energy situation in many of the Caribbean islands.
The countries are facing the challenges of affordable energy services, energy security and climate change mitigation and adaptation simultaneously.
By developing their renewable energy sources and putting in place energy efficiency measures, many of the islands have significant opportunities to reduce their overall fossil fuel consumption and thus improve their energy security, while at the same time promoting clean economic growth and lessening dependence on costly, imported petroleum fuels.
The proposal for creating CCREEE takes place at the background of promising developments. Some islands have adopted national renewable power generation targets and investments in renewable energy power stations, mini-grids and stand-alone systems are growing.
Simultaneously, various energy efficiency initiatives are underway. But despite the articulation of what may be deemed a progressive agenda within the region, barriers to renewable energy use and energy efficiency applications remain.
These barriers are multi faceted, diverse and often specific to individual technologies and sectors, implying that effective policy solutions and actions are needed.
In this context, the proposed Regional Centre will create the needed regional capacity to support the coordination and implementation of regional sustainable energy policy commitments and activities.
The proposal for a Regional Centre is fully aligned with the CARICOM Energy Policy (CEP), adopted in March 2013, and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C SERMS), which is currently under development.
Moreover, the Centre would contribute to the global 2030 objectives of the UN SE4ALL Initiative.
Essentially therefore, the Centre is expected to create strong linkages and synergies with ongoing global, regional and national initiatives that seek to enhance the existing capacities within Caribbean states.
Hence, as part of the consultative preparatory process to determine the technical and institutional design of the Centre, the Ministry of Public Works, Energy and Ports is partnering with the UNIDO and the SIDS DOCK to host the Workshop.
The validation workshop which opened at the Dominica State House Conference Centre on July 21, will climax on July 22.