Grenada, Carbon War Room sign agreement to develop renewable energy sector

keith-mitchell-grenadaST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Monday April 14, 2014, CMC – The Grenada government says it has entered into an agreement with the Washington-based Carbon War Room (CWR) as it seeks to lure investors in renewable energy.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell signed the expression of interest with the CWR, the brainchild of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. It is led by the former president of Costa Rica, Jose Maria Figueres

Mitchell said that Grenada was seeking solutions to the high electricity prices faced by Grenadians which was due, in part, to the high cost of imported diesel fuel.

He said the efforts by the Carbon War Room would be an important strand of an existing strategy already being developed by his administration.

Mitchell acknowledged that “green” renewable energy held the possibility of lowering the island’s electricity prices.

A government statement said that under the agreement signed last weekend in Washington, CWR would assist in attracting investors, and other organisations, to Grenada to finalise an updated roadmap for action and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“The Roadmap envisaged would take stock of existing studies and investor appetite so as to propose solutions for (1) improving the regulatory environment; (2) energy efficiency in government buildings and assets, such as street lighting; (3) affordable energy efficiency services targeted at major energy users in the private sector, such as hotels and other businesses; (4) renewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar, that would have a positive impact on all households and; (5) longer term investment in geothermal energy, starting with exploratory drilling.”

Last year, Mitchell co-hosted the Caribbean Challenge Initiative with Sir Richard in the Virgin Islands, where pledges were made to help the Caribbean islands reduce importation of fossil fuel.

Meanwhile, Prime Mitchell has told a panel discussion hosted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that high-energy prices on the island were unsustainable.

He told the discussion over the last weekend that the island was actively seeking partnerships to help lower its electricity prices by relying less on imported diesel and more on Grenada’s domestic sources of energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.

Mitchell said there was a six trillion US dollar  global market for new energy, and that the region as whole needed to embrace this opportunity for a greener hemisphere as a strategy to increase competitiveness and growth.

He said these efforts would provide jobs for youth, reduce the appeal of the drug trade, and promote social cohesion in the region and encouraged the Organisation of American States to play a more active role in this regard as part of its new vision. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)