Vince Henderson, Permanent Representative of Dominica to the United Nations, has endorsed the moves by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to switch over to renewable energy.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony of a validation workshop for the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREE) on Monday morning Henderson pointed out that the transition will result in significant savings for SIDS.
“The deployment of renewable energy technologies in small island developing states has the potential to transform their economies and reduce their reliance on importation of expensive fossil fuels,” he said. “The gains from savings from the switch to renewable energy can be used to provide better social services, infrastructure and enhance competitiveness of the private sector.”
Henderson pointed out that the Sustainable Energy Island Initiative (SIDSDOCK) is committed to create a mechanism to help SIDS generate the financial resource to invest in climate change adaptation, assist SIDS transition to a sustainable energy economy by increasing Energy Efficiency and the development of Renewable Energy, to provide a vehicle for mobilizing financial and technical resources to catalyst clean economic growth and provide SIDS with a mechanism for connecting with the global carbon market while taking advantage of the resource transfer possibilities that will be afforded.
In the meantime, Minister of Public Works, Energy and Ports Rayburn Blackmoore, added that Dominica has been able to implement a number of duty free concessions which has led to the investment of a number of renewable projects namely in solar and wind.
“By way of a corporate agreement with the government of China within a three-year period of time we shall be installing 2,500 solar street lights throughout the country,” he stated. “We have embarked on an energy audit of a number of public buildings namely the Dominica State College, the Dominica Air and Sea Port and a number of other government public buildings. We are currently contemplating the possibility of outfitting the Dominica State College with solar panels.”
He added that 66 percent of Dominica’s energy generation comes from fossil fuels while another 34 percent comes from hydro.
“Geothermal development shall lead the way as far as renewable energy development is concerned in Dominica,” Blackmoore stated. “We are well on our way of seeing a transformation in the energy sector a transformation that will bring about a new Dominica for the better, a transformation that will see Dominica being the first net exporter of renewable energy.”
Blackmoore noted that going forward, a small domestic plant will be set up to ensure that Dominicans can benefit from geothermal energy, the transmission lines will be upgraded and a study on the submarine cables will be conducted to allow for export of the renewable energy.