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Renewable Energy Sources and the Caribbean

Governments throughout the Caribbean have become more cognizant of climate change issues and the import to implement adaptation and mitigation measures allay such climatic issues. Many have been investing in renewable energy sources for their country. This was demonstrated in March 2013 when CARICOM ministers approved for its member states to produce 47 percent of their electricity needs through renewable energy by 2027.

Climate change urging for investments in renewable energy are based on scientific hypotheses, data collection and analysis. This may attribute for the lack of mass political and capital investments. However, such investments would reduce reliance on energy imports and would alleviate nations from volatility of the oil market.

The cost of importing the vast majority of energy needed for all forms of transportation and productions drives up the prices of all goods and services produced in the Caribbean.

In October 2013, the Jamaica Gleaner contained a special column written by Zia Mian, formerly of the World Bank, which stated:

“The cost of petroleum fuels, as well as electricity in these countries, is high, making it difficult for them to compete in the regional or international markets.”

He asserted that reducing the Caribbean’s reliance on imported fuels would further development in the region,

“For the energy deficient countries of the region, the immediate and long-term sustainability of development depends on facilitating the advancement of enabling environments that would allow increased domestic productive capacity and production of goods and services at competitive and affordable costs.”

Consequently, it is vital that the Caribbean invest in more renewable energy solutions which will positively impact its economic conditions. In order for theses investments to be profitable, practical solutions that are sustainable must be thoroughly planned.

Governments must look pragmatically at the realities of investing in renewable energy for the future and making a holistic plan for how to move the Caribbean towards wider use of renewable energy in a cohesive and usable way as opposed to a piecemeal, project-by-project approach.

Credits: Caribbean Journal

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