REETA – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance
Title: REETA – Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: All CARICOM member states and the Dominican Republic
Lead executing agency: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Secretariat
Overall term: 2012 to 2016
More than 95 per cent of commercial energy consumption in the countries of the Caribbean is derived from petroleum products. The strong dependence of Caribbean countries on petroleum-based fuels and the high costs of generating electricity associated with such fuels not only hamper economic competitiveness, but are also a risk to the environment. In addition, imports of petroleum are leading to rising levels of indebtedness in most countries in the Caribbean.
Despite their considerable potential, little use is made of more cost-effective and sustainable solutions such as renewable energy or measures designed to increase energy efficiency. Regional and national actors in this field are not yet able to fulfil the political, organisational and technical requirements of this growing market. Private and public institutions also lack the qualified experts and managers needed to plan concrete projects and improve the energy policy framework in a way which will promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Regional and national actors in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency are increasingly fulfilling the political, organisational and technical requirements of this growing market in the Caribbean.
The focus of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) project is on developing a regional energy strategy, creating regional expertise and promoting networks between actors.
At national level, GIZ is helping countries to improve the regional policy framework for renewable energy and energy efficiency and strengthening the ability of the Energy Unit of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Secretariat to carry out its coordinating role. The project provides technical training to regional establishments specialising in this field, develops their institutional structures and supports networking with other institutions. Training courses in renewable energy and energy efficiency offered at universities and technical schools are also expanded. At local level, REETA promotes pilot projects and documents their progress so that they can be rolled out. In this way, the project is making a contribution to supply security and to the long-term stabilisation of electricity prices in the Caribbean.
The following results have been achieved through international cooperation:
- The Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy was adopted in June 2013 as part of the CARICOM Energy Programme.
- REETA gives technical support to the CARICOM Energy Unit and also provides subsidies for member states’ events and programmes as well as for public relations. Two coordination groups have already been created, comprising member states, regional institutions and international donors.
The groups have very quickly become a key body in which all sector actors with a major interest take part.
- CARICOM has recognised that a regional energy information system needs to be established to provide a basis for future policy decisions. REETA has already begun cooperating with CARICOM in this area, with a conference and a workshop held in Jamaica at the end of 2013. This work will be continued in cooperation with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
- An updated donor list is drawn up at regular intervals and supplied to stakeholders. This is an initial step towards improving the Energy Unit’s information activities.
- Most CARICOM member states have now adopted national energy policies which focus on greater sustainability and moving away from an energy supply which depends almost exclusively on fossil fuels.
- The CARICOM Secretariat has been helping member states to stage the annual Caribbean Energy Week for a number of years. REETA has now agreed to provide support in order to hold the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF), which takes place every two years.
- In cooperation with other donors, REETA is helping to integrate various renewable energy and energy efficiency training courses into the programmes. Individual courses have already been implemented and expanded.