Caribbean renewables need shoring-up

» By | Published 28 May 2010

The cluster of nations in the Caribbean region has big visions when it comes to wind power and other renewable energies, but they need support from nations that have already forged ahead in the sector.

Carlisle Powell, the Natural Resources and Public Utilities Minister in the Nevis Island Administration, was recently quoted as lamenting the lack of advances in wind power in the Caribbean.

“We have been talking a good talk about wind energy for the last 20 years and only Jamaica and Nevis have made any real advances. Yet wind is widely used in Europe and Latin America,” he said.

Powell called for urgent and continued support from countries that have become world leaders in wind energy, in the form of help with wind studies, power purchase agreements, contracts, data evaluation, legislation and tariffs.

Cuba, the largest nation in the Caribbean, is developing its fledgling wind power sector. Recent reports say that four of six Goldwind turbines have now been connected at the Gibara II wind farm in Cuba’s Holguin province, about 565 kilometres east of Havana.

A Communist state with about 11.5 million people, Cuba is looking to capitalise on the potential of wind energy to produce more than 2000 MW to offset the import of 2,220 tonnes of petroleum into the country, articles published by the Xinhua News Agency and Reve say, adding that the current installed capacity is just 7.2 MW.

Despite the potential in the Caribbean region, the annual hurricane season poses considerable problems for the wind farm industry, which can experience infrastructure damages during brutal storms.

Categories: Climate change