The financing proposal for a plan to introduce electric and hybrid vehicles in the public service of Saint Lucia was discussed during a high-level meeting hosted by the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) in partnership with ECLAC Caribbean, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on 8 September 2016. This represents a major step in the Government of Saint Lucia’s proposal for transitioning its fleet of official vehicles from petrol to electric and hybrid, as well as the development of a solar carpark with electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
This innovative initiative was proposed by the Government of Saint Lucia in the context of the project entitled “Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean: Reducing the Carbon Footprint in the Caribbean through the Promotion of Energy Efficiency (EE) and the Use of Renewable Energy (RE) Technologies”, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of Caribbean countries in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The high-level meeting in Port of Spain was jointly convened by ECLAC Caribbean and GIZ to assess the impact of this project, implemented from 1 July 2014 to 30 September 2016.
During the opening of the meeting, the German Ambassador, Excellency Lutz Gorgens, underscored the importance of encouraging regional coherence and joint projects, and in this regard noted that “we are more efficient if we collaborate regionally”. This sentiment was shared by the GIZ Caribbean Representative, Mr. Glynn Morris, who stated the importance of future collaborations stemming from the successful outcome of the project, and in doing so highlighted that “every decision is an energy decision, and there are many opportunities to build on the foundations of this project”. Speaking on behalf of ECLAC, Mr Willard Phillips, Economic Affairs Officer, expressed his gratitude to GIZ, and regional and national stakeholders for their support in developing and implementing the project.
The project also seeks to enhance the policy framework for the sustainable development of the energy sector, and support participating countries in identifying financing options for the development of national energy efficient and renewable energy technologies.
Countries that have benefited from the project to date include Dominica and Saint Lucia, for which final energy profiles were developed and Martinique, for which a draft was prepared, which identified potential sources of financing for EE and RE projects. ECLAC Caribbean also held meetings to introduce the project to stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guyana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The project’s success can be marked by the increased knowledge of policy makers and technical experts at the national and regional levels, who are now able to develop new and innovative mechanisms for financing projects in EE and RE, thus strengthening Caribbean mechanisms for the promotion of energy efficiency.
This evaluation meeting comes on the heels of a training workshop held in May 2016 in Trinidad and Tobago, which provided a forum for stakeholders to share policy experiences, and undertake preliminary training for senior technicians on feasibility analysis for energy projects in the Caribbean.