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For future sustainability Caribbean holidays need renewable energy support from world leaders

Carlisle Powell, Nevis' Minister of Natural Resources and Public Utilities recently made a speech about the need for world leaders to engage in further cooperation with small Caribbean countries in order to adapt more sustainable measures.

For future sustainability Caribbean holidays need renewable energy support from world leaders

During a recent conferenc focused around the topic of the sustainability of Caribbean holidays, Carlisle Powell, the Natural Resources and Public Utilities Minister in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) said there was urgent need for continued and ongoing support from big world powers like Germany, who have become leaders in wind energy.

The comment came during a presentation in Berlin which was recently held before political, business, scientific and civil society representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the European Union (EU), to discuss the challenges and perspectives world destinations including Caribbean holidays were facing with regards to needing closer technological cooperation in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“In the Caribbean, we have been talking a good talk about wind energy for the last 20 years and only Jamaica and Nevis have made any real advances. (...) As I flew into Berlin, I was greeted by the sight of several wind turbines making use of the free wind. In the Caribbean, we have so much wind that between June and October, we call them hurricanes.

“We urgently need continued support from countries like Germany where you have become leaders in wind energy. Help us to develop wind studies, Power Purchase Agreements, contracts, evaluation of data, legislation and tariffs,” he said.

On the topic of geothermal energy development, Mr. Powell pointed to a World Bank study on the Caribbean Interconnection which he said made compelling reading. The Natural Resource Minister described the proposed project as possibly the most important for small island states such of the region. He explained that all the islands had their own generation plant or plants that were expensive to purchase and maintain and used the example of Nevis to show the benefits of the project.

“Imagine one Caribbean interconnected with renewable energy produced cheaply in one state (Nevis) transported to high demand areas. In my small island of Nevis, at peak we use only 9MW of power. It is estimated that we may have as much as 900MW of geothermal power that can be harnessed. That is enough to export to the neighbouring islands so all of us can enjoy cheaper energy, lower our carbon foot print, reduce our drain on foreign exchange and have extra funds from the avoided costs for other government programmes,” he said.

In the area of education, Powell highlighted the importance of educating Caribbean people on the benefits of renewable energy was for the sustainable future of Caribbean holidays. “Let’s commit to do more. This more must include providing educational material to the entire population to show the benefits of renewable energy. It must include involving our people in projects where they will save money; such as the use of solar water heaters,” he said.

Powell also took the opportunity to challenge the small island states leaders to become more proactive in the renewable energy thrust. “Unfortunately, we only seem prepared to act when the price of oil rises; when the price falls our search to find alternate cheap sources of energy also falls. Let us remain focused on the urgent need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” were his final words.

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