Saturday 20 April, 2019

Renewable energy can transform CARICOM

Acting Director of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Anthea Ishmael.

Acting Director of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Anthea Ishmael.

There is a great potential within CARICOM for a more efficient use of existing energy resources and for the development and utilization of renewable energy sources. 

And this according to Acting Director of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Anthea Ishmael, can have a positive impact on the competitiveness of CARICOM products and services and also on consumers.

While this is so and while CARICOM has already drafted goals and strategies to make greater use of these potentials with the intention to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, quality infrastructure must be met.

Ms Ishmael says this will include standards, conformity assessment metrology, accreditation and information and awareness.

She was addressing policymakers and energy experts on Wednesday during the opening of a  two-day on energy standards and policy analysis, at the Divi Southwinds Resort.

Ishmael said the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) in collaboration with Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) – National Metrology Institute of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Standards Bureau of the Dominican Republic (INDOCAL) is implementing a project that will address the issue: “Strengthening of the Regional Quality Infrastructure in the Caribbean in the areas of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies”  (R3E project), .

This project will seek to increase regionally available services of quality infrastructure in the Caribbean for the use of energy efficient electrical appliances and renewable energy technologies through, among other things, the development of regional labelling and minimum energy performance standards for lighting and for air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers.

With few exceptions, member states of CARICOM she stressed are highly dependent on imported energy sources, mainly petroleum products.  

“As a result, energy costs in these countries are relatively high and contribute significantly to household expenses as well as the operating costs of businesses,” she noted.

Ishmael added that development of the MEPS and energy efficiency labelling standards are very important in assisting the Member States in the achievement of their specific targets to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all”.

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