Towards clearer roadmaps for renewable energy in the Caribbean
Head of the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Unit (REEEU) at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Tessa Williams-Robertson, has underscored the need for regional countries to strengthen their resource plans for projects in the renewable energy sector. Williams-Robertson was speaking on November 10, on the first day of a conference organized by the Barbados Renewable Energy Association entitled, Caribbean Sustainable Energy Independence: Making It Happen. She was a panelist in the discussion, Financing Energy Independence in the Caribbean. The REEEU Head outlined some of the constraints regional governments face in financing renewable energy projects. These include small domestic markets, the absence of inter-connection for the export of electricity across borders or between islands, high indebtedness, vulnerability to climate impacts and the perceived high risk of investing in the region. She noted that CDB has come up with an Energy Sector response, which has resource mobilisation as a key component. This means that the Bank is looking at various opportunities to mobilise global climate change concessional resources for investments in the Region. But she said that, given all the limitations, it was important that the countries have a clear roadmap that has the answers to some very specific questions. “Is there the legal framework that allows or supports this investment? Have we established the feasibility of this project - all aspects of it? What is the appropriate mechanism for financing - is it government, public sector ownership; is it fully private sector with a combination of equity and debt; a public-private partnership; as an independent power producer with an adequate power purchase agreement with a credible off-taker? And do we need capacity building?" Williams-Robertson asked the audience at the Conference. She explained how CDB has been making the case for concessional financing for sustainable energy advancement, and mobilising and packaging those resources for the specific investment under consideration in CDB' borrowing member countries. CDB, in partnership with the Government of Canada, was one of the event' Conference Partners. Learn more about funding available for sustainable energy projects through CDB.