WASHINGTON, D.C.: The United States has announced it will support a Caribbean regional energy market as representatives from the private and public sectors discussed the linkage between the financial crisis confronting the Caribbean and the reality of paying some of the world’s highest per capita energy costs.
United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz gave the assurance as he addressed a ministerial-level energy conference, entitled “The Caribbean’s Energy Future: A Pathway to regional Fiscal Stability,” in Washington, D.C. last week.
The conference was convened by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to provide a forum to examine the issues associated with the region’s high energy costs and associated impacts, explore options for addressing this problem, and set forth a roadmap that will assist the Caribbean region in developing a cleaner, more cost effective, and sustainable energy matrix.
The IDB said that senior-level public officials, key private-sector and multilateral agency decision-makers from throughout the Caribbean region and North America are engaged in discussions on a wide range of energy-focused topics.
“Examining the region’s energy flows and defining the level of alleviation that energy sector changes can bring to national budgets; presenting results of pre-feasibility studies for the establishment of a natural gas market in the region,” the IDB said were some of the issues addressed at the meeting.
It said delegates also discussed how advances in technologies related to natural gas, energy efficiency and multiple renewable energy technologies help to diversify national and regional markets as well as identifying ways to advance a new energy agenda through public-private partnerships (PPP) and shared action by Caribbean states.
IDB vice president Roberto Vellutini made a presentation on a new regional PPP energy financing mechanism and the meeting also discussed the release of a new pre-feasibility study on the energy matrices of most Caribbean states and another study on the potential market for natural gas as a fuel for power generation in the Caribbean.