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Message For International Day Of Climate Action 

Climate action via an accelerated renewable energy transition has made indirect gains across the globe as countries respond to oil and gas supply restrictions and soaring energy prices resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war. 

In the climate-vulnerable Caribbean, energy market instability is another major incentive to pick up the pace of planned projects for reducing emissions. And that pace needs to be quickened. 

According to Dr. Gene Leon, President of the Caribbean Development Bank, to meet the region’s target of 47% by 2027 or 55% of renewable energy by 2030, “This would mean installing 320 megawatts renewable energy capacity per year, compared with the average of 25 megawatts per year installed over the last 9 years across the Region.”

So what has progress looked like this year? 

Here is a round up of some of the projects across the region:

  • In the Bahamas, the Ragged Island 390 kW solar microgrid project was completed in July and powers the entire island. 
  • In Saba where solar parks already provide 40 per cent renewable energy coverage, a recently approved 4.1 M grant from the EU will finance renewable energy developments including the building of another 1MW wind or solar facility.
  • Construction of a USD $75M, 35.6 MW solar farm plus 44.2MWh of lithium-ion battery storage began in June 2022 in St. Kitts and Nevis. Previously stalled plans for geothermal energy development have just recently been revived
  • The Commonwealth of Dominica has started the build out of well pads and access roads for a new 10 MW geothermal plant with actual construction of the power plant estimated to be completed in 2023. 
  • In August, the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited and NewGen Energy Limited, signed an agreement to work together in the development of NewGen’s green hydrogen production facility. The objective is to produce an additional 100 MW of power.
  • A partnership between IFC, IDB Invest, HDF Energy and Rubis is working towards the development of a 50 MW project comprising a solar plant with green hydrogen and lithium-ion battery storage in Barbados.
  • In Jamaica, a new 45MW floating solar photovoltaic project at the Mona Reservoir was launched in September 2022 to power 100 per cent of the National Water Commission’s energy needs at the reservoir.

As Senator the Honourable Matthew Samuda of Jamaica explained in a recent Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator #ASKCCSA video learning session, there is not just a climate imperative for the energy transition in his country, there is an economic imperative to guard against international energy crises that lead to increased poverty rates. This is perhaps a reality for the entire region and luckily it is also a plus for climate action.

References: 

  1. National Geographic
  2. EA Surge in Renewables and EVs Has Limited Global Emissions
  3. St Kitts Nevis Exploring Geothermal Project
  4. Wales Gas to energy project fueling Guyana’s transition
  5. Energy transition Caribbean challenges and opportunities  
  6. The entire island of Saba, the way in renewable energy
  7. Saba receives 4 1 m euro EU funding to expand renewable-energy
  8. Mona reservoir floating solar project

 

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