Thursday 29 October, 2020

Energy Chamber head: Renewable energy crucial to T&T's energy future

Stock image.

Stock image.

The future of the gas industry relies on improving the country’s overall energy efficiency.

So said Eugene Tiah, Chairman of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago, as he delivered remarks at the opening of the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Conference, hosted by the Chamber on Wednesday.

The conference, now in its fourth year, was held as a web event for the first time, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Tiah said renewable energy has a crucial role to play in cementing T&T’s energy future, as it can free up gas from power generation and make it available to foreign exchange earning exports, either as LNG or petrochemicals.

Of the available opportunities for the Caribbean, he said: “There is significant opportunity for innovation in renewables and energy efficiency in the Caribbean, as we face unique challenges and have unique opportunities. 

Linkages with the University sector is important for both research and skills development and there are lots of opportunities for collaboration between business, academia and the government that we need to strengthen.”

Significant opportunity, he said, also exists to increase regional trade in services in the areas of energy efficiency and renewables. 

Tiah said there is huge scope for businesses in the region to trade across borders in this sector.

He added that the area of energy efficiency and renewables can really help to drive true regional economic integration.

The Energy Chamber Chairman noted that energy efficiency and renewables is a key sector for new jobs and new business development. 

He said there exists a large scope for small businesses in these sectors, especially in areas like commercial building retrofits or small-scale solar installation. 

Tiah called for the creation of the policy environment that allows this to take place across the region

He noted that the Inter-American Development Bank has played an important role in guiding governments across the region in policy development and also directly investing in projects in this regard.

He expressed his hope for action on implementing new innovation discussed over the course of the three-day conference, which ends on Friday.

“Regionally, we lag other countries in both energy efficiency and the utilization of renewable energy sources. Time is ticking and if we fail to be decisive and act, we certainly will be left behind.”

The theme of this year’s conference is Shaping the Caribbean's Energy Future.

Among the topics to be discussed: Renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Caribbean; Opportunities for hydrogen development in T&T; Reducing emissions in the supply chain and opportunities for local content; Attracting capital for renewable energy projects; Skills development for a low carbon future; Carbon markets and Reducing emissions in the transport sector.

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