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Transport Minister cautions Committee

Transport Minister cautions Committee

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Counting down his last days as Minister of Transport and Works, Senator Julian Francis, has cautioned the Steering Committee of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme (CREDP) to put action into their speech and not fail.

He warned that in the past many regional projects were started with breath taking momentum and fanfare, only to end in failure and regret.{{more}}

Francis explained the CREDP project was conceived with the foresight of the region’s peculiarities and challenges.

The grouping was designed to remove barriers to the increased use of renewable energy with the goal of reducing the dependence on fossil fuels while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CREDP is executed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

Francis had the distinct honour of addressing CREDP’s representatives on Wednesday at the opening of the two day meeting at the Vinlec Training Centre, Cane Hall. The meeting, which ended yesterday, was CREDP’s second project steering committee Meeting.

Minister Francis told the gathering, Caribbean people are sometimes noted for voluminous paper work in the form of reports and studies, fancy speeches, large bureaucracies and long projects infusion periods. The Minister outlined he needed not dwell on the negatives but mentioned there were several projects with similar definition to CREDP’s that had started and failed.

He implored CREDP to learn from their shortcomings so that it may not repeat the same mistakes.

“CREDP must tactically seek to integrate laudable solutions and outcomes to challenges into other productive sectors that are relying upon energy. In other words its work must make an impact on the development process,” said Francis.

Francis said the Steering Committee Meeting of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Development Programme was taking place against the backdrop of astronomical increases in petroleum prices.

The Minister said the current prices of petroleum on the world market have disrupted the energy balance in many Caribbean countries and has engendered political anxiety, social chaos and economic instability across the region.

CREDP mitigates the risk to investors in renewable energy projects by addressing three main issues: economic risk, transaction cost risk and revenue risk.

The organization involves key stakeholders such as the National Governments, United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility, German Technical Aid Agency, Organization of American States, Association of Caribbean Electric Utilities, Private Sector, Caribbean Solar Energy Society, Development Agencies and Multilateral Banks.