The importance of energy security to Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean was underscored during a meeting between Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce and the United States??? Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Robin Dunnigan last Tuesday.
Ms. Dunnigan stated 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 forward ??? a US$20 million financing facility to support investment in clean energy projects in the region and a team headed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which was mandated to identify clean energy projects for support.
Already, she said, two wind energy projects in Jamaica were receiving support.??She told Senator Boyce that she was hoping to further concretise plans for the way forward when she met with regional policy makers at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum scheduled for October 19 in Miami.
Senator 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.??Going forward, he assured the United States energy official that there were a ???confluence of things happening??? in the Caribbean which would drive the energy security process forward.