Six Caribbean countries to benefit from sustainable energy funds
Six Caribbean countries are set to benefit from a €4.45 million (US$5 million) contribution from the European Union (EU) to promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The money has come with the signing of a Contribution Agreement between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Union-Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF), to support the new Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean (SEEC) Programme.
The signing took place in Brussels on the sidelines of the second EU-CELAC/8th EU-LAC Summit held June 9 to 11.
The SEEC Programme is a multi-partner loan and grant facility with a budget of approximately €21.4 million (US$24 million).
The EU-CIF grant contribution to the SEEC Programme will provide both technical assistance and investment grants to Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
CDB president Dr. Warren Smith said the SEEC Programme would allow the Bank, in collaboration with its development partners, to use innovative financing methods to advance sustainable energy solutions for those six member countries.
“The programme has the potential to initiate a radical change in the energy landscape for the beneficiaries. It could become a model for the rest of the Caribbean; and the lessons learned from this Programme can inform the creation of expanded facilities for the benefit of all of the borrowing member countries of CDB,” he said.
The signing of the agreement came against the background of the CDB making energy security a thematic focus in its current strategic plan. This focus is guided by the Energy Sector Policy and Strategy.
In 2014, the CDB produced a study, A New Paradigm for Caribbean Development: Transitioning to a Green Economy, which examined the merits of transitioning to increased energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.