CASTRIES, St Lucia, Jun 1, CMC – The St Lucia-based Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariat says it is implanting a new energy project for members of the sub-regional grouping.
It said that the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing grant assistance to the Sustainable Energy Technical Assistance (SETA) project that is focused on creating a guiding framework and an enabling environment to support the efficient and sustainable production and use of energy.
SETA will also contribute to improving the capability of the member countries of the OECS to utlilise approaches to energy management as they move towards closer economic integration.
The SETA project has been established in response to the high reliance of the OECS on fossil fuels to supply their energy needs.
“With rising oil prices on the international market, governments of the OECS have been forced to pay increases for imports, (particularly for fuel-related products), and this has resulted in consumer price inflation, increased production costs for some companies, and negative impacts on competitiveness,” said Tecla Fontenard, the Communications Specialist, Climate Change.
As part of SETA, the OECS Secretariat has awarded a contract to a consulting firm to begin work this month on developing an OECS Regional Energy Efficiency Strategy (OECS-REES) and Action Plan, complimented by National Strategies and Action Plans.
Fontenard said that the developed OECS-REES and National Strategies would incorporate, among other things, all aspects of efficiency improvements of the energy utilization sectors, including elements related to transportation and potable water.
The plans will also identify interventions to be implemented for each energy utilisation sector in OECS member countries.
“In the development of the Regional Energy Efficiency Strategy, the consultant is expected to examine current approaches being used to develop national renewable energy resources, and will make recommendations for regional approaches to improving energy efficiency across all sectors of OECS member countries,” she said.
“This may include the possibility for common approaches in such areas as procurement of fossil fuels, regulation of electric utilities, a regime for carbon trading, and the establishment of a cross island interconnecting grid,” Fontenard added.
At least two workshops will be held to inform OECS stakeholders of the project as part of the 13 month consultancy.