October 20, 2016, Miami, FL – For the past three days, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has been engaging energy sector stakeholders from around the region and the world at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) in Miami, Florida.
The bank hosted an Energy Ministers’ Symposium and Lunchtime Session, participated in and presented at key sessions on the agenda and met scores of attendees at its stand in CREF’s exhibition hall.
The symposium, delivered in partnership with the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund, brought together more than 30 energy ministers, senior government officials and partners. During the event, attendees explored topics such as best practices for an enabling environment, the financial and technical risks in the deployment of renewable energy, and the role of sustainable energy in the climate context.
The meeting concluded with a discussion on the way forward for championing the transformation of the energy sector in the Caribbean.
“We believe that the formula for energy sector transformation in the Caribbean is bold leadership, strong partnerships, policy reforms, an enabling environment, smart investments, capacity building, and action, all underpinned by good governance,” said Patricia McKenzie, Vice-President (Operations), while opening the Lunchtime Session that followed the symposium.
Additional partners from the energy sector joined CDB for the lunch, which featured a keynote speech by State Representative Chris Lee from Hawaii, who serves as Chairman of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee in the Hawaii State Legislature. Lee emphasized the role of political leaders in transforming the energy sector and instruments ministers can use to accelerate this shift, while sharing lessons learnt from the Hawaii context.
At CREF 2016, Peter Werner, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Specialist, presented on CDB’s technical assistance activities through the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund. Tessa Williams-Robertson, Head of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, CDB, participated in a panel, “Project Case Study: St. Vincent and the Grenadines”, on the closing day.
“We have been mobilizing concessional resources and working with many partners to secure adequate and appropriate funding for investment and technical assistance to advance geothermal energy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Williams-Robertson. “This is a very important project for CDB given its demonstration effect and the example it could be for future similar geothermal projects in the region.”
CREF 2016 was held from October 17 to 19 at the InterContinental Hotel in Miami. CDB is a committed development partner of the event, which attracted more than 500 participants this year.