The United Nations International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has presented Antigua and Barbuda with a Renewable Readiness Assessment Report.
The report which was presented to the Minister of Energy Asot Michael during a launch ceremony held earlier this week is a document that focuses on the energy resources that Antigua and Barbuda has available and how the Agency might be able to harness its potential on behalf of the betterment of the twin island nation.
During brief remarks on the occasion of the launch of the Renewable Energy (RE) report, Minister Michael took the opportunity to highlight the intentions of the Gaston Browne led ABLP administration in the field of Renewable Energy as well as their achievements to date.
According to the Energy Minister, it was the Hon. Prime Minister himself who invited IRENA to make an assessment of the RE capabilities of the twin island state.
He explained that the “initiative by Prime Minister Browne was itself a manifestation of the commitments outlined in the ABLP’s electoral mandate to the people of Antigua and Barbuda that an ABLP government would be moving aggressively to harness the sustainable resources of sun, wind, biomass and other sources that would allow Antigua and Barbuda to reduce its expenditures of valuable foreign exchange on imported fossil fuels, while at the same time also reducing our emissions of harmful fossil fuels, and empowering citizens to move towards a greater degree of energy independence with positive expectations for reducing the overall cost of energy.
Among the RE projects highlighted is the intention of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to implement a 10 MW solar Energy project (the largest in the Caribbean). 3 MW have already been constructed by PV Energy Ltd (who the Government of Antigua and Barbuda has partnered with) in a solar farm at the Sir V.C. Bird International Airport.
The project also provides for up to 1MW of solar photovoltaic’s in Barbuda and equipment to this end is already in our sister island starting with just over 150KW as an initial stage. The Hon. Minister took the opportunity as well to mention trademark legislation that was enacted in order to facilitate ease of transition in renewable energy sources.
Other Renewable Energy initiatives slated for implementation in Antigua and Barbuda is the development of a Waste to Energy plant at the Cook’s landfill, as well as a LED Solar Street lighting project to be funded by the Caribbean Development Bank.
This comes as Antigua and Barbuda has joined the rest of the region in celebrating Energy Awareness Month in the month of November 2016. In this regard, activities have been planned in commemoration of the month and Antigua’s Renewable Readiness capabilities have been highlighted as a result.