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Government will be co-hosting this year’s Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) as an indication of its thrust towards the long-term energy security of Barbados.
The conference, slated for Wednesday, October 12, to Friday, October 14, at Hilton Barbados, Needham’s Point, St. Michael, is expected to attract 300 Caribbean and international renewable energy stakeholders.
The forum runs in conjunction with CARICOM, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States, and from the discussions, it is expected to catalyse the development of economically-sound renewable energy projects across the Caribbean.
In highlighting the importance of the forum, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce added: "CREF 2011 comes at a vital time for our nation.?? The price of oil continues to be high and it is essential that we maximise our efforts to achieve long-term energy security without delay."
He further stated: "Renewable energy – be it from wind, solar or other sources – will play a key role in the construction of this security.?? Hosting the CREF will serve to keep the spotlight on this issue, raise public awareness and highlight to foreign investors the new opportunities in Barbados."
Likewise, CREF Executive Director, Matthew Perks, said: "We are delighted to be bringing CREF to Barbados for 2011. Given the progress that the Government continues to make towards diversifying the country’s energy supply, it is particularly appropriate that the conference should take place here.?? We look forward to collaborating with the government and with local stakeholders to highlight local renewable energy initiatives and to promote new investment opportunities to international developers."
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will deliver the feature address and declare the conference open.?? During the sessions, there will be presentations from a number of experts including Regional Director of the world’s largest manufacturers of wind turbines, Adrian Katzew, President and CEO of Emera Caribbean, Wayne Crawley and the new Jamaican Minister of Energy and Mining, Clive Mullings.
There will also be presentations by Chairman of Williams Industry, Ralph "Bizzy" Williams, Chairman of the Barbados National Oil Company Limited, Dr. Leonard Nurse and President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce, Andy Armstrong.