OAS urges Caribbean to explore renewables to address energy costs

ORANJESTAD, Aruba — 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 open the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, 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.”

According to Ramdin, 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 expressed the view that the “Caribbean is capable of solving some of its own problems in this sector,” having adequate natural resources which can be channeled to its advantage.

“Sun, heat, water and wind, all offer opportunities. In spite of this, renewable energy does not appear to feature prominently on the priority list of many of our policy makers,” said Ramdin.

The senior OAS official called on policymakers and leaders to be pro-active on the issue. In this regard he has called for the consideration of the establishment of 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.

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