MIAMI, Florida – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have signed off on the Sustainable Energy Facility, a US$71.5 million loan and grant package to fund renewable energy and institutional capacity projects in six Eastern Caribbean countries.
The signing by Presidents Alberto Moreno of the IDB and Dr. William Warren Smith of the CDB took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, ahead of the start of the annual Caribbean Renewable Energy Conference.
The IDB noted that Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are island states with small and isolated electricity markets, lacking the scale necessary to import cheaper fossil fuels, such as natural gas, and inadequate development of renewable energy potential. And it said the SEF can change the energy matrix of those countries and increase energy security, which is critical for these economies to be competitive.
“This operation has the potential to trigger a radical transformation of the energy matrix of the Eastern Caribbean,” said Christiaan Gischler the IDB’s team leader of the SEF.
“Geothermal power plants established in each of the Eastern Caribbean countries with potential could have aggregate capacity of proximately 60MW, which would substitute the equivalent amount of diesel and heavy fuel oil currently used for baseload power generation.
“This would displace an average of almost a million barrels of oil per year, which is equivalent to a 44% reduction in oil imports or US$56 million per year.”