Alexander Ochs (Project Director), Mark Konold (Project Manager), Katie Auth, Evan Musolino, Philip Killeen | October 2015
The Caribbean region stands at a crossroads, faced with several critical challenges associated with the generation, distribution, and use of energy. Despite the availability of tremendous domestic renewable energy resources, the region remains disproportionately dependent on imported fossil fuels, which exposes it to volatile oil prices, limits economic development, and degrades local natural resources. This ongoing import dependence also fails to establish a precedent for global action to mitigate the long-term consequences of climate change, which pose a particularly acute threat to small-island states and low-lying coastal nations.
While onerous, these shared challenges are far outweighed by the region’s tremendous potential for sustainable energy solutions. By acting on this potential, the Caribbean can assume a leading role in the global effort to combat climate change while promoting sustainable regional economic and societal development. Representing a geographically, culturally, and economically diverse cross-section of the region, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) provides the ideal platform to construct the legislative and regulatory frameworks necessary to achieve this transition.
CARICOM represents 15 diverse member states: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Although these states vary widely, they face many common energy challenges.
CARICOM has already begun to play a crucial role in the regional transition to sustainable energy. Recognizing the need to develop a coordinated regional approach to expedite uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in the Caribbean, CARICOM adopted its regional Energy Policy in 2013 after a decade in development. The policy charts a new climate-compatible development path that harnesses domestic renewable energy resources, minimizes environmental damage, and spurs social opportunity, economic growth, and innovation.
To translate these intentions into action, the CARICOM Secretariat commissioned the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), designed to build on existing efforts in the region and to provide CARICOM member states with a coherent strategy for transitioning to sustainable energy. In this C-SERMS Baseline Assessment and Report, the Worldwatch Institute provides an analysis of the region’s current energy and energy policy situation, evaluates regional potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions, and recommends regional targets for energy sector transformation in the short, medium, and long terms.
Read the Press Release
Revisions: October 29, 2015- Section 6.2.4 and Table 26 inserted.
“CARICOM envisions the C-SERMS Baseline Report and Assessmentas a key initiative among a host of energy-related activities in its regional approach to support member states. All CARICOM members have contributed to the report. The Energy Unit of the Caribbean Community is excited to have this document, which provides a clear vision and strategy for all stakeholders to create a more economically efficient and resilient energy system in the region. We are determined to build on it by implementing its recommendations.”
Devon Gardner, program manager of CARICOM’s Energy Unit
Energy Situation of CARICOM Member Countries from Worldwatch Institute
About the Sustainable Energy Roadmaps
By collaborating with local stakeholders, the Worldwatch Institute has produced Sustainable Energy Roadmaps for several countries and world regions. Combining technical analysis, socio-economic modeling, investment analysis, and policy assessment, the Roadmaps result in concrete implementation plans that empower nations to reduce local pollution, greenhouse gases, long-term energy costs, and dependence on fossil fuel imports, and to create new social and economic opportunity while supporting environmental integrity.
We would like to thank the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the German Agency for International Collaboration (GIZ), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for their support of this project, which went far beyond the provision of financial resources.
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