Nevis Minister to Caribbean people: identify opportunities; implement changes and reduce dependence on fossil fuels

Minister responsible for Natural Resources and Public Utilities on Nevis Hon. Carlisle Powell

CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (May 11, 2010) – The people of the Caribbean must identify the opportunities and implement the changes that would allow them to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. The challenge came from Minister responsible for Natural Resources and Public Utilities on Nevis Hon. Carlisle Powell, when he made a presentation recently on Technological Cooperation, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency-Frameworks – Strategies – Perspectives at the European Union – Latin America and the Caribbean Forum in Berlin.

He said fossil fuels were the cause of high electricity rates and stress and it was important for the Caribbean’s people to recognise that energy efficiency should be more than just a word.

“It must be a habit; it must be practiced! Greater use must be made of energy efficient light bulbs and these bulbs must also be readily available at affordable prices or our people will continue buying the cheaper conventional bulbs.

“Our architects must design homes and buildings that allow more efficient use of natural light for longer periods of the day! Windows and doors must offer better protection against entry of the external heat and must allow retention of cool air from air conditioning. All government buildings which use hot water should be designed and built with solar water heaters,” he said.

Mr. Powell pointed to Peru which had 96 percent of its street lights powered by solar energy, however, Nevis which had sunshine almost every day of the year did not have a single solar powered street light.

He called for greater support from Peru and other Latin American states to assist its Caribbean neighbours with the technology and support necessary to replace the island’s conventional street lights to solar street lights.

“It is an established fact that the gap between Latin America and the Caribbean is far too great. The exchanges are too few and work study tours are at an unacceptably low level. Latin America and the Caribbean must do more together,” he urged.

Notwithstanding, the Mr. Powell hailed the assistance Nevis had received from Caribbean Community, the Organisation of American States and the government and people of Iceland in its development of renewable energy but cited that for the continuation of renewable energy development in the region, cooperation was needed at a sustained level.

The Minister also addressed the need for technical competence to oversee project implementation; Interconnection and Education.

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