Germany supports Renewable Energy Workshop at UWIEnlarge image
From 17 to 19 January, 2011, a workshop on Geothermal Energy was held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus. It assembled a number of scientists and practitioners from several countries, such as Bangladesh, Barbados, Germany, Ghana, New Zealand, St. Kitts and Nevis and of course Trinidad and Tobago. The workshop was organized by the Department of Physics of the UWI and supported by the University of Flensburg/Germany, through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) within the framework of the International Network for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (inees).
During the Opening Ceremony on 17 January, 2011, German Ambassador Stefan Schlüter brought greetings on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. He pointed out that there is a huge potential of Renewable Energies in the Caribbean, including hydropower, wind power and solar power. Geothermal power is one of the most interesting and promising ones. In Nevis, a 10 MW plant is being implemented by a private investor to satisfy demand in St. Kitts and Nevis. In Dominica, a geothermal project is in a preparatory stage assisted by the Government of France in order to supply electricity to the French overseas territories Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Enlarge image from left to right: Dr. Zaffar Khan and Kamla Mungal of the Arthur Lok Jack SChool of Business, Mr. Carlos Wright and Dr. Mirko Schankat (© Embassy)
Both projects triggered the discussion about two major developments: geothermal power development in other OECS countries such as St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and interconnection of Caribbean territories thus improving the economy of scale for the use of Renewable Energy sources as well as increasing regional energy security. Only the export of electricity will make investments in this field economically viable. Plans for interconnection of Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique are already in an advanced stage.
Germany and the European Union continue to be at the forefront of climate protection and thus of the promotion of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency. Since 2003, a project funded by the German Government supports the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP). German Renewable Energy experts operating from St. Lucia are in the region to support CARICOM and its member states in improving framework conditions and developing specialist technological and economic competencies favourable to investment in Renewable Energies. So far, the German Government has funded the CREDP project with a total amount of 7.45 million Euros. An additional fund of 4.5 million Euros was recently approved and committed to CARICOM for a new energy project. As of 2012 approximately, this project will complement and expand the work initiated by CREDP.
Enlarge image from left to right: Mr Klaus Sattel, first Secretary German Embassy, Mr. Jagdesh Ramnanan, Direkt Project and Jacqueline Bridge (© Embassy)
In this context of continued support for the promotion of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in the Caribbean, Ambassador Schlüter seized the opportunity to invite the participants of the workshop as well as stakeholders from Trinidad and Tobago to a reception on 18 January, 2011.
Port of Spain, 18.01.2011