By Alexis R. Milan
Leaders from across the region gathered in St. Thomas on the Virgin Islands to participate in the first ever Caribbean Clean Energy Technology Symposium (CCETS), aimed at disseminating information on clean energy efficiency and security for the region.
The symposium, the first of three annual gatherings on clean energy technology in the Caribbean region, was co-hosted by the US Department of Energy, Caribbean-Central American Action (C-CAA), and the government of the USVI in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The CCETS brought together experts from various countries, including the Caribbean region, who shared best practices and worked together to identify common goals and create action plans with deliverables that will lead to increasing access to energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy technology in Caribbean nations.
There were also panel discussions led by energy leaders and other stakeholders. The discussion topics included assessing the current energy landscape, developing a workforce around green energy, financing clean energy technologies, and exploring how utilities in the Caribbean region and other areas are adapting to a cleaner energy economy as they maintain profitable and more sustainable operations.
The US Department of Energy also presented the “Energy Transition Initiative: Islands Playbook”, an action-oriented guide with steps on how to organize for a transition towards an energy system to eliminate a dependence on one or two imported fuels by relying on local resources.
Strategic partners of the CCETS and for future Caribbean energy initiatives include CARICOM, the Caribbean Council, CARILEC, the University of the Virgin Islands’ Caribbean Green Technology Center, Institute of the Americas, New Energy Events, Organization of American States, Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority, Virgin Islands Energy Office, and the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority.