US hopes to strengthen energy initiative in the Caribbean

Minister with responsibility for energy, Darcy Boyce.

The United States says it hopes to strengthen plans for a Caribbean Energy Security Initiative when regional policy makers meet in Miami next month.

United States’ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Robin Dunnigan met with the minister with responsibility for energy, Darcy Boyce, last Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Dunnigan said that the United States was placing a great deal of emphasis on the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative and now had two programmes in place to push this initiative, including a US$20 million financing facility to support investment in clean energy projects in the region.

She said that a team headed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) had been mandated to identify clean energy projects for support and that two wind energy projects in Jamaica were receiving support.

Boyce welcomed the assistance being offered to the region by the United States, noting that there were several areas in which Barbados could benefit from technical expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

He said that in addition to the projects already ongoing, he was hoping to see a pilot ocean thermal energy conversion plant established, to make use of the sea which surrounded the island both for water and energy production.

The energy minister said that Barbados would also be interested in obtaining help in making the island’s hotel plant as energy efficient as possible.

He told the US official there is a “confluence of things happening” in the Caribbean which would drive the energy security process forward.

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