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Offer more incentives for renewable energy - CaPRI

Published:Thursday | July 25, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter

The regional think tank, Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), is urging Caribbean governments to diversify the incentives being offered in the renewable energy market.

Presenting an update on its renewable-energy research that it expects will influence policies and inform potential investors on the way forward in the sector, CaPRI's renewable energy programme manager, Dr Suzanne Shaw, said the research has revealed that the region should be aiming for greater diversification of incentives in the renewable energy market.

Shaw said though there were incentives dedicated to renewable energies, many of them were tax incentives.

She also noted that there were attempts to change this with the implementation of net-billing schemes in countries such as Barbados and Jamaica but more needs to be done.

"We are hoping to get to a stage where we have a more diverse policy mix that can really treat the needs of the various technologies we find in the Caribbean," Shaw said.

Ja is ahead of the pack

She said the research, which started in 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2015, has also revealed that Jamaica is ahead of the curve in the drafting of renewable-energy policies.

"There are policies in place in many Caribbean countries and I think it is fair to say that Jamaica is ahead in the development of renewable-energy policies," Shaw said

She said there were two parts to the research being conducted and these would help both regional policy makers and the private sector to push the renewable-energy sector forward.

"What we are trying to do is on one hand influence policies in Caribbean countries to create an enabling environment to allow renewable energy to emerge and occupy the place that it can occupy as an economic alternative to conventional energy sources," Shaw said.

She added that CaPRI is trying to also make sure enough information is available to potential investors so that they can develop viable energy projects and increase implementation.

CaPRI's research has also received high marks from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.

Hillary Alexander, permanent secretary in the ministry, said the research was interesting and would add value to the work the ministry is currently undertaking.

She said CaPRI has been approached to share its preliminary findings with the ministry.