By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency has officially opened its doors in Barbados.
Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was on hand to inaugurate the facility, which is located at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
“The harsh reality is that with the exception of Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean countries import 90 per cent of our energy which, because of our reliance on oil, and the volatility in the international oil market, limits our competitiveness as a region and acts as a brake on economic growth,” Stuart said.
Indeed, around 20 percent of the Caribbean region’s gross domestic product is spent on petroleum imports.
“We in the Caribbean region are painfully aware of these limitations, for every day we bear the burden of being susceptible to the vagaries of international oil prices, being net importers of petroleum products,” he said.
The CCREE will be a specialized institution aiming at developing renewable resources in the region, along with focusing on issues like energy security and climate change mitigation.
Stuart said it would be the “coordinating regional hub and think tank” for green energy issues and activities.
“This facility will contribute to the global 2030 objectives of the Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) Initiative, and will assist both in improving energy security and in mitigation of the negative externalities of regional energy systems,” he said.