Caribbean countries are well positioned to become role models for clean energy solutions due to their abundant natural resources. Clean energy leadership requires collaboration between governments, utilities, industry and other stakeholders in order to ensure that development strategies optimize the combined natural assets of the region. In this forum, we will discuss new business models, technologies, interconnectivity opportunities, and institutions that could help the Caribbean reap the benefits of energy security and resiliency to bring the region closer to its economic and sustainability goals.
The breakout sessions are the heartbeat of the “Sustainable Now” forums. The following breakout sessions have been selected to explore targeted opportunities to optimize clean energy development throughout the Caribbean focused on the requirements needed to provide lower cost reliable energy.
1. Island InterconnectionDoes the interconnection of island nations by underwater transmission cables hold the key to optimizing and maximizing clean energy development? Who owns, maintains and constructs such a system? Who provides the upfront capital to build this type of system?
2. Distributed TechnologiesWhat role should distributed generation (solar and wind) play in diversifying generation sources? How important is battery storage to greater penetration of renewables? Can micro grids increase resiliency efforts? Should demand side management projects (municipal and commercial energy efficiency, demand response and streetlights) play a larger role in reducing the need for fossil fuel generation?
3. Emerging Baseload Strategies
Can utilities replace Baseload load requirements with clean energy sources? Is there sufficient access to the necessary feedstocks to meet the demands of biomass and waste to energy projects? Can the abundance of water be harnessed in the forms of hydro, tidal and ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) to meet nation’s energy requirements?
I. Welcome (10 min)
II. Framing Conversations (25 min)
An interview with a regional leader on the important role the utility industry will play in the continued clean energy transformation throughout the Caribbean
Thomas Hodge, Executive Director, CARILEC
Rod Kuckro, Reporter, Environment and Energy Publishing
III. Panel Discussion (35 min)
An interactive discussion by experienced practitioners on the challenges and opportunities for clean energy development in the region
Pauline Schneider, President, PA Schneider & Associates (Moderator)
Dr. Michael K. Dorsey, Senior Program Officer for Sustainability, US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Steward Sarkozy-Banoczy, Director, Island Resilience Initiative, Global Island Partnership
Richenda Van Leeuwen, Former Head of Energy Access, United Nations Foundation
IV. Targeted Opportunities (15 min)
Brief presentations outlining big ideas and actionable opportunities for accelerating clean energy activity
A. Island Interconnections – Hugo Hodge, Executive VP, Tantalus Systems
B. Distributed Technologies – Steve Rhoades, CEO, Petra Systems
C. Emerging Baseload Strategies – Dr. Robert T. Do, CEO, Solena
V. Breakout Sessions (45 min) (facilitated by Sustainable Capital Advisors)
Using the targeted opportunities presentations as a jumping of point, small group discussions focus on uncovering immediate paths to accelerate opportunities while addressing challenges and barriers
A. Island Interconnections – Jerome Cox, Director
B. Distributed Technologies – Harshul Banthia, Director
C. Emerging Baseload Strategies – Hugh Youngblood, Director
VI. Report Out (15 min)
VII. Closing (5 min)
VIII. Networking (30 min)
*click on individuals to read bios
The Caribbean market for clean energy will continue to expand in the coming years as the region looks to confront the issues of climate change and sustainable development. Sustainable Capital Advisors’ inaugural Sustainability Now forum, Optimizing Clean Energy Development in the Caribbean, brought together some of the brightest minds in industry, finance, utilities, government, nonprofits and academia to discuss solutions, exchange ideas and develop plans for accelerating action towards a more sustainable future. In addition to the summary below, here are a few of our biggest takeaways from the event:
- As utilities grapple with a backdrop of policy uncertainty and changing market structures, they must face the future by recognizing the value of decentralized power systems, interconnections with other islands, and increasing consumer choice.
- Accessing financial capital for new projects and technologies will require policymakers to establish firm goals and incentives for market stakeholders.
- The falling cost of maturing renewable technologies presents the region with greater opportunity than ever to collaborate to meet the goals of a changing climate.
- Cooperative action and responsibility are key for the region to meet not only its climate but also economic development goals.