The assistant secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, has called for regional collaboration to promote greater use of renewable technology in the Caribbean.
Ramdin, who was in Aruba to participate in the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, which was held last week, said there appeared to be a “disconnect between understanding that renewable energy technology will facilitate less dependence on traditional sources of energy and fossil fuels…and the ability to implement and pursue a renewable energy agenda”.
Ramdin said electricity and energy costs in the Caribbean are generally very high and for the majority of islands “the effect on the cost of almost all goods and services is high, ultimately undermining economic growth and investments”.
Addressing renewable energy experts from around the world, Ramdin said the Caribbean is capable of solving some of its own problems in this sector, due to having adequate natural resources which can be channeled to its advantage.
“Sun, heat, water and wind, all offer opportunities,” he said. “In spite of this, renewable energy does not appear to feature prominently on the priority list of many of our policy maker.”
The senior OAS official called on policymakers and leaders to be pro-active on this issue. Ramdin also suggested they establish a shared platform or service to exchange knowledge, examine best practices, identify investment, financing and technical assistance options and put specialized services and opportunities on the table for wider consumption, consideration and execution.