By: Sapphire Vital
The Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) Project Preparation Facility (PPF) continues to make strides in its development. Over the last few months, the Facility completed its commissioning phase which ran from November 2020 to April 2021 and is now fully operationalized. Ploughing full steam ahead, the PPF has achieved various milestones by finalizing its business plan, launching its public sector stream, engaging with CARICOM Member States on public sector sustainable energy projects, and liaising with key regional and international stakeholders. With this under its belt, the PPF team is eager to ramp up its support to private and public sector sustainable energy projects in the Caribbean region.
Setting the vision for the development of the Facility over the next 5 years, the PPF has now finalized its business plan. The plan gives insight into the dimensions of the Facility and its operations to include service provision, marketing, organizational structure, financing, and monitoring and evaluation. It also contains is a procedural manual, setting detailed procedures for the operation of the PPF. With these insights, the plan lays out a roadmap that charts a sustainable course for the Facility.
Armed with a sound business plan, the PPF launched the public sector stream of the Facility on May 4th, 2021. The launch took the form of a roundtable discussion on the “Energy and Climate Nexus: Meeting Targets and Goals through Project Development”. The roundtable discussion was chaired by Dr. Gary Jackson, Executive Director of the CCREEE, and featured Ms. Francine Blackman, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Barbados and Chairperson of the CCREEE Executive Board. Ms. Blackman represented the ministry on behalf of its Minister the Hon. Kerrie Durard Symmonds, who was called away unexpectedly. The other distinguished panellists were Mr. Clement Williams, General Manager of the St. Kitts Electricity Company, Ms. Francine Baron, Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica, Mr. Joseph Williams, Coordinator- Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the Caribbean Development Bank, and Ms. Aria Laidlow, Youth Representative from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The panellists represented key players involved in the energy and climate space: governments, electric utilities, climate action entities, financial institutions, and the future generation who will be primarily impacted by today’s action or inaction. Guided by the moderator, the panellists educated the attendees on the linkage between the transformation of the energy sector and climate change response. Through their collective contributions, the panellists drove home the point that sustainable energy project development support is critical to ensure project implementation and hence the attainment of regional sustainable energy targets. Meeting these targets will result in an increase in energy security and climate resilience as well as a decrease in our carbon emissions, thus enabling our contribution to the Paris Agreement and the fulfilment of key Sustainable Development Goals.
Following the launch of the public sector stream, the PPF held an information session in conjunction with the CCREEE’s CARICOM Energy Knowledge Hub. The information session, held on May 19th 2021, focused on the theme, ‘Supporting Sustainable Energy Investment Decisions’. During the session, the PPF team shared an overview of the PPF’s services, its benefits, and its application process with the representatives of Caribbean energy, climate, transport, environment, and finance ministries.
The Facility further engaged with CARICOM energy ministries to collate a list of pipeline sustainable energy projects in need of technical assistance and financial support. The investment pipeline was presented by Dr Jackson at a high-level meeting on energy financing to international financial institutions, development partners, regional organizations, and private sector entities interested in investing in the Caribbean region. The meeting spurred meaningful discussion and triggered action which the CCREEE and the CARICOM Energy Unit are currently pursuing.
Amidst all these activities, the PPF has continued to engage with key players to operationalize purposeful partnerships that can accelerate the PPF’s mandate: to build a robust pipeline of investment-ready renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Caribbean region. The PPF has continued to receive interest from private and public sector entities for project development support and has commenced its second round of project evaluations.
Now that the Facility is fully operationalised, the PPF team looks forward to accelerating its support to private and public sector sustainable energy projects, reinforcing strong partnerships with national, regional, and international organizations and overall, playing our part in CCREEE’s mandate to transform the Caribbean’s energy landscape into a climate-resilient, sustainable, and affordable sector with a focus on improving the lives of our people.
To learn more about the CCREEE PPF or to access project development support, please visit the PPF web page.