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“Grenada launches regional energy training workshop on ‘Simulation Tools for Energy Efficiency in Caribbean Buildings’”
St. George’s, Grenada, 27 January 2015: “People all over the world compliment us on the burst of colourful buildings among the scenery seen on any postcard from Grenada, but what they don’t know is that those very same buildings have been identified as the major consumers of electricity in the country. That’s why Grenada, one of five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) pilot countries, is participating in a regional pilot project that focuses on the building sector for improving the efficiency of energy use.” Mr. John Auguste, Senior Energy Officer, Ministry of Finance, Planning, Economy, Energy and Cooperatives, Energy Division, during opening remarks at the official launch of a regional training workshop on Simulation Tools for Energy Efficiency in Caribbean Buildings, this morning, at the Public Workers’ Union Conference Room, Tanteen Street, St. George’s. The workshop runs from 27-30 January 2015.
Mr. Auguste noted that Grenada’s buildings sector (commercial, domestic, and institutional) is the largest consumer of electricity and accounts for more than 90 percent of total electricity consumption. “It is therefore, the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission after the transportation sector,” he said. It is recognized that globally, buildings account for over a third of total energy use and associated GHG emissions; typically 10 to 20 percent (depending on building type) of the total lifecycle energy consumed is used for the manufacturing and assembly of building materials, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and demolition. Some 80 to 90 percent is used, over the life of the building, for heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation, house appliances, etc. He said the workshop is geared towards the development of local capacity in the use of energy efficient software modelling and integration of energy efficiency rating systems and targets those persons in the public and private sector who are directly involved with energy management, building and facilities design and monitoring.
The project is of major importance to Grenada, which has one of the highest electricity prices in the world – USD 0.45 cents per kilowatt-hour – and is ranked in the top five countries with the highest prices among Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Oil imports typically cost up to 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while mounting debt of EC$2.56 billion or 107 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), is contributing to the overall fiscal crisis. Grenada is symptomatic of what obtains across the region and in most SIDS, with several Caribbean islands receiving support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under short-term (three years) Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs).
The continued total dependence of the region on importation of petroleum products is no longer an option and this is where the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Environment Programme (GEF-UNEP) Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project, launched in April 2013, comes in as the first regional project that is piloting energy efficiency improvements in the economy of member states in CARICOM. The Caribbean region imports in excess of 170 million barrels of petroleum products, annually, with 30 million barrels used in the electric sector, and since buildings are major consumers of electricity across the region, the project focuses on the buildings sector for improving the efficiency of energy use. On the positive side, Grenada is a resource rich country with abundant geothermal resources as well as solar and wind. A recent report commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) showed that Latin America and the Caribbean have enough renewable energy potential to cover their projected 2050 electricity needs 22 times over. As the select pilot country for the United States government’s regional initiative on New Energy, and as a member of SIDS DOCK, the SIDS Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative, Grenada is moving to take advantage of this seemingly limitless potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency that resides in the country.
The Simulation Tools for Energy Efficiency in Caribbean Buildings Training Workshop is an activity being implemented USD 12,484,500, ESD Project, and being implemented by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Climate Change Centre (5Cs/CCCCC), and involving five pilot countries: Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The project’s objective is to transfer and implement sustainable energy policies, instruments and knowledge in the Caribbean countries through the promotion of energy efficiency applications and renewable energy use within the residential and public building sector. The aim is to achieve a minimum reduction of 20 percent in electricity use through the pilot activities that are to take place during 2014 – 2017.
Contact: Al Binger, ESD Project Technical Coordinator
+011 (501) 621-4501 or +1 (301) 873-4522