we need a marshall plan for clean energy in the caribbean

by:YEROO     2019-09-09
Children in Georgetown, Guyana learn about solar energy at the exhibition.
Credit: CREDPIn restaurant, June, snack stand on the left, a small restaurant with Barbados special flight service --
Fish sandwich, became the first snack cabin on the island to install solar panels.
Public shower facilities nearby are also equipped with a tablet computer.
The bus shelters across the street and the local police station are the same.
Along the coastal highway, it goes to colorful houses in the capital Bridgetown.
Like many other small island states, Barbados has to ship all the oil used for power generation, which makes the cost of electricity four times higher than the cost of fuel --
Rich America
This high price has proved a boon for Barbados\'s fledgling solar industry.
Almost half of the island\'s houses have solar water heaters on the roof. in less than two years, solar water heaters pay for themselves with lower electricity bills, and more industries, like small desalination plants on the island, they are installing solar cell arrays to meet some of the power needs.
The move to solar power has also been driven by tax incentives for green companies and consumers.
In an address of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
On June, Barbados Prime Minister Stuart promised at World Environment Day in Bridgetown, the capital, that by the end of the next decade, 29% of the island\'s energy will come from renewable sources.
This rather conservative target is still more than double the current production of renewable energy in the United States, which is not difficult to achieve.
There is not only plenty of sunshine on the island, but also a year.
Wind turbines, sugar cane waste or sugar cane that can be used as biofuels.
The government of Barbados is also studying the use of tidal energy and the introduction of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC)
A technology that uses the temperature difference between the cool deep sea and the warm deep sea to generate electricity.
Barbados is not the only Caribbean island with a passion for green technology.
Aruba is planning a 3. 5-
MW solar airport is perhaps the largest such project in the world. The Dutch-
Speaking island combines wind and solar energy with energy efficiency measures to cut imported heavy fuel oil by half, saving about $50 million a year.
Nives Island, Montserrat Island and St.
Vincent signed a contract with the Icelandic geothermal company to carry out exploration projects to determine how to tap its huge geothermal potential.
While the mountainous Dominic has already met about half of its energy needs with water and electricity.
The Caribbean islands have not only abundant resources to develop clean energy, but there are good reasons to do so.
The region is suffering from some of the world\'s highest energy costs, which is holding back industrial development and draining its foreign exchange reserves.
The islands also have fragile ecosystems such as mangroves and coral reefs, which are vulnerable to oil spills and pollution.
Many people depend on tourists and will gather there as long as they keep their charming clean and green.
But the best reason for them to reduce their carbon emissions is that if climate change, which has already had a huge impact, is not controlled, these island countries will be in danger.
In recent years, reduced rainfall in eastern Caribbean poses a threat to inadequate agricultural and groundwater supply.
Rising sea levels and ocean acidification and warming have resulted in the death of many protective coral reefs, resulting in severe beach erosion and a reduction in fish stocks that rely on coral for reproduction and conservation.
And the hurricane-
Vulnerable areas are being hit by increasingly frequent and powerful storms.
At the World Environment Day event in Bridgetown, St.
Ralph Gonsalves called climate change \"the most serious existential threat in the world today \".
\"It\'s certainly true for St. Vincent and grenadines.
Successive storms of 2010, 2011 and 2012 swept through the islands, losing as much as 17% of the GDP of the developing world each year, destroying hundreds of homes and killing dozens of islanders.
Gonsalves observed sadly: \"If my people are not flooded on the coast, they will be washed away in the landslide . \".
The Prime Minister of Barbados, Stuart, also expressed his sense of urgency.
\"Since this issue involves our survival, surrender is not an option,\" he told the audience . \".
Stewart believes that the Caribbean should set a \"shining example\" for the world \".
That makes sense: these islands on the front lines of climate change destruction should also be on the front lines of cutting their own carbon emissions.
As role models for the rest of us, they need to prove how serious they are about threats.
This has not happened yet.
The region still lags behind the United States in the proportion of renewable energy.
But there are signs that the government wants to change.
Barbados, for example, commissioned, in collaboration with UNEP, to produce and release a green economy scoping study in June.
The study included suggestions on how to make the island\'s agriculture, fisheries, transportation and energy systems more sustainable.
Now energy production in the Caribbean is sustainable in the long run.
Venezuela\'s late socialist President Hugo Chavez has offered many island loans and preferential interest rates for cheap oil.
His successor did his best to maintain the subsidy.
But given the current financial crisis in Venezuela, no one can say how long this generosity will last, and it is not clear what will happen --
When island economies are forced to pay the full price for crude oil, they are under great pressure.
However, it is not cheap to overhaul an island\'s energy infrastructure.
Few Caribbean countries have the capacity to address the thorny technical challenges associated with grid stability.
Demand for electricity in many islands is small, making it difficult to attract international investors.
In addition, countries such as Jamaica and St. Kitts
Public debt in Nevis, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua often exceeds their annual gross domestic product.
Thus, unlike industrial powers like Germany, few Caribbean countries are able to make the most of their renewable energy potential.
The industrial powers responsible for this issue should reach out to those most affected by climate change.
Loans from the international development bank, as well as technology transfer and training from rich countries, will be of great help.
To encourage prudent investment, we also need to fund the pump.
But let\'s not treat this as charity.
By helping the islands in our backyard become green, we can not only reduce harmful greenhouse gases.
We will also learn valuable lessons, such as how to successfully integrate intermittent inputs of wind and solar energy into the grid
This problem has hindered our adoption of renewable energy.
The fragile Caribbean island is a perfect laboratory for testing solutions that can eventually be applied to our own more complex energy infrastructure on a small scale.
After World War II, the United States provided economic power through the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe\'s broken economy.
Now is the time to make a clean energy Marshall Plan.
Instead of rebuilding war-torn countries, it is helping to protect our abused climate system from further damage.
With abundant sunshine, wind and geothermal resources, the Caribbean Sea is a good starting point.
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