Saint Lu­cia dis­cusses tran­si­tion of pub­lic ve­hi­cles to Elec­tric and Hy­brid

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The fi­nanc­ing pro­posal for a plan to in­tro­duce elec­tric and hy­brid ve­hi­cles in the pub­lic ser­vice of Saint Lu­cia was dis­cussed dur­ing a high-level meet­ing hosted by the Ger­man Fed­eral En­ter­prise for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion (GIZ) in part­ner­ship with ECLAC Caribbean, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Thurs­day 8 Septem­ber 2016. This rep­re­sents a ma­jor step in the Govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia’s pro­posal for tran­si­tion­ing its fleet of of­fi­cial ve­hi­cles from petrol to elec­tric and hy­brid, as well as the de­vel­op­ment of a so­lar car park with elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

This in­no­va­tive ini­tia­tive was pro­posed by the Govern­ment of Saint Lu­cia in the con­text of a project en­ti­tled “Sus­tain­able En­ergy in the Caribbean: Re­duc­ing the Car­bon Foot­print in the Caribbean through the Pro­mo­tion of En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency (EE) and the Use of Re­new­able En­ergy (RE) Tech­nolo­gies”. The project seeks to strengthen the ca­pac­ity of Caribbean coun­tries in the ar­eas of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and re­new­able en­ergy.

The meet­ing in Port of Spain was jointly con­vened by ECLAC Caribbean and GIZ to as­sess the im­pact of this project, im­ple­mented from 1 July 2014 to 30 Septem­ber 2016.

Dur­ing the open­ing of the meet­ing, the Ger­man Am­bas­sador, Ex­cel­lency Lutz Gor­gens, un­der­scored the im­por­tance of en­cour­ag­ing re­gional co­her­ence and joint projects, and in this re­gard noted that “we are more ef­fi­cient if we col­lab­o­rate re­gion­ally”.

This sen­ti­ment was shared by the GIZ Caribbean Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Mr. Glynn Mor­ris, who stated the im­por­tance of fu­ture col­lab­o­ra­tions stem­ming from the suc­cess­ful out­come of the project, and in do­ing so high­lighted that “ev­ery de­ci­sion is an en­ergy de­ci­sion, and there are many op­por­tu­ni­ties to build on the foun­da­tions of this project”.

Speak­ing on be­half of ECLAC, Mr Wil­lard Phillips, Eco­nomic Af­fairs Of­fi­cer, ex­pressed his grat­i­tude to GIZ, and re­gional and na­tional stake­hold­ers for their sup­port in de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the project.

The project also seeks to en­hance the pol­icy frame­work for the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the en­ergy sec­tor, and sup­port par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries in iden­ti­fy­ing fi­nanc­ing op­tions for the de­vel­op­ment of na­tional en­ergy ef­fi­cient and re­new­able en­ergy tech­nolo­gies.

Coun­tries that have ben­e­fited from the project to date in­clude Do­minica and Saint Lu­cia, for which fi­nal en­ergy pro­files were de­vel­oped, and Mar­tinique, for which a draft was pre­pared, which iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial sources of fi­nanc­ing for EE and RE projects.

ECLAC Caribbean also held meet­ings to in­tro­duce the project to stake­hold­ers in An­tigua and Bar­buda, Bar­ba­dos, Cay­man Is­lands, Guyana and Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines.

The project’s suc­cess can be marked by the in­creased knowl­edge of pol­icy mak­ers and tech­ni­cal ex­perts at the na­tional and re­gional lev­els who are now able to de­velop new and in­no­va­tive mech­a­nisms for fi­nanc­ing projects in EE and RE, thus strength­en­ing Caribbean mech­a­nisms for the pro­mo­tion of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

This eval­u­a­tion meet­ing comes on the heels of a train­ing work­shop held in May 2016 in Trinidad and Tobago which pro­vided a fo­rum for stake­hold­ers to share pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ences, and un­der­take pre­lim­i­nary train­ing for se­nior tech­ni­cians on fea­si­bil­ity anal­y­sis for en­ergy projects in the Caribbean.

Mr. Wil­lard Phillips, ECLAC Caribbean Eco­nomic Af­fairs Of­fi­cer, de­liv­ers an eval­u­a­tion of the GIZ project re­port at the meet­ing on Thurs­day.

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