Third Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum opens in St Kitts and Nevis

CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – More than 150 persons from across the Region and beyond are expected in St. Kitts and Nevis Thursday and Friday for the Third Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF) and Exhibition.

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Rt. Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, will deliver the keynote address and set the tone for the event which will be held at the St. Kitts Marriot Resort.

CSEF3 is organized by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in collaboration with St. Kitts and Nevis. The Governments of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom, along with the European Union, have generously contributed to the hosting of the event. The previous two of editions were organized by the German component of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme, in collaboration with the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) and were held in St Georges, Grenada in 2008, and Montego Bay, Jamaica in 2010.

The Forum this year will be convened under the theme `Advancing Energy Integration and Energy Access through Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) in CARICOM’, and will be held against the backdrop of the United Nation’s designation of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

The objective of the CSEF is to facilitate dialogue and actions towards more robust policies, and transfer of appropriate technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency. It aims ultimately to contribute to the diversification of the regional energy supply from its current fossil fuels base to renewable energy. It is envisioned that the diversification will be supported by effective energy demand management, as a means of addressing the high of cost of energy that is linked to over-dependence on petroleum-based energy importation in most Member States.

CSEF3 also seeks to broaden the platform for engaging the regional energy stakeholders on sustainable energy issues, as well as fulfill mandates by CARICOM Energy Ministers and policymakers related to supporting energy integration. Through a series of panels of experts and regional practitioners in various areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, issues related to technological options, financing and risks, in the CARICOM context, will be explored.

Special focus will be placed on the integration of energy systems in the Eastern Caribbean based on geothermal resources. Improving access to appropriate financing of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, which still remains relatively expensive, will be explored through a panel of representatives from the leading multilateral financing agencies. Attention will also be paid to possible regional approaches to address the special cases of energy poverty and lack of energy access in the Community.

The Forum will also seek to examine the outcomes of the recent Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development with regard to sustainable energy,, particularly in the context of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Region’s capacity to maximize benefits for the development of the energy sector.

The recommendations from CSEF3 will be considered for action at the Community level.

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