CDB calls for more action in making shift to sustainable energy
The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says regional countries have made notable progress in making the shift to sustainable energy but more must be done to promote and unlock financing for a clean energy shift in the Caribbean.
The CDB was among various regional and international stakeholders that participated in the just concluded Fifth Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF-V) here.
CDB Head of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Tessa Williams-Robertson, used the conference to outline commendations on how Caribbean governments can bridge the financing gap that could slow the region’s progress on achieving its renewable energy targets.
Data show that the Caribbean needs at least US$15 billion in financing to achieve 47 per cent renewable power capacity by 2027.
“As a region, we face a number of constraints to accessing financing for sustainable energy development. These include our small market size and the perceived high risk of investing in the Caribbean,” said Williams-Robertson.
She said that to drive the right quantity and quality of investments, Caribbean governments need to ensure their legal frameworks allow and support sustainable energy financing; establish the feasibility and financial viability of the proposed projects; and determine if capacity-building or technical assistance is needed for implementation.
“Concessional financing is also critical to driving sustainable energy innovation in the Caribbean. CDB is pleased to report that we have had successes in mobilising such resources to power a clean energy future for the Caribbean region,” she said.
The Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) now have access to grant and loan resources, and technical support that CDB has raised from a number of partners and agencies. They include funding from the government of Canada; the European Investment Bank Climate Action Line of Credit; the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility; the Government of Germany; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the United Kingdom Department for International Development.
CDB Sustainable Energy Adviser, Joseph Williams, said in addition to taking the appropriate steps to secure the right kind of financing, the bank is encouraging stakeholders to apply lessons learned as they chart a path to energy security.
“In addition to mobilising financing, we must learn from the lessons that have emerged, particularly during the past five years. We know that Caribbean governments need champions who can promote a clear vision for their energy sectors.
“As a region, we must commit to practising good governance; and create more enabling environments if we are to achieve real progress on our renewable energy targets,” Williams said.
The Forum, hosted by the Caribbean Community, was attended by more than 100 national, regional and international stakeholders, from the public and private sectors, on the topic of sustainable energy. (CMC)