Grenada to pilot US regional energy initiative

Grenada has been selected by the United States government to be the pilot country for a regional energy initiative.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister, Dr. Keith at the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex at Tanteen, St. George’s.

During the just-ended Climate Change meeting in New York, the U.S government announced that it will be investing billions of dollars in renewable energy in Latin America and the Caribbean and chose Grenada as the pilot country to start the initiative.

Prime Minister Mitchell who was in New York for the meeting said this development further underscores Grenada’s commitment to reform the energy sector.

“Our view is, given the high prices that we are facing with electricity which of course has its base in the cost of electricity that we have to buy fossil fuel, any reduction in any energy cost will be a positive for the country…”, he told reporters in St. George’s.

He spoke of Grenada readily agreeing to accept the proposal from the United States since it has enormous potential for renewable energy and the reduction in the cost of electricity.

According to PM Mitchell, based on the pilot project agreement, a few days were spent in New Zealand by a Grenada delegation where a number of Geo-Thermal sites were visited.

He disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for technical support in accessing Geo-Thermal possibilities in Grenada and that a team of Consultants will soon arrive on the island.

“…The consultants will be on the ground and they will also be helping to identify funds for the test drilling which will cost about US $15 million,” he said.

PM Mitchell also told reporters that during the Climate Change summit in New York that was attended by several world leaders, Grenada made a presentation in which it suggested that small island states should move towards 100 percent renewable in their energy production.

“The plan is to completely move away from fossil fuel, which of course has serious environmental problems for those islands and of course it’s highly costly and makes electricity cost and other related activities too costly for those countries,” he said.

The Grenadian leader also used the New York gathering to once again lament the cost of electricity to consumers from the privately owned Grenada Electricity Services, stating that it was four to five times higher than in the developed countries.

“…I made the point that a lot of our ordinary folks in our country are unable to access electricity services, a number of our people are being cut off from electricity services because of the price.

“…We made the point that this has significant impact on the social environment in our country because electricity is not just another issue now. It’s almost an absolute necessity in terms of accessing the information highway so a child whose parents or grandparents or guardians are not able to access electricity is prevented from being on the information highway, which of course affects his education.

The Prime Minister announced that Grenada was signatory at the summit to the establishment of an organised body within the UN for Small Island developing states to access funds for renewable energy.

The body, he said was recently launched with a $30 million start up fund, which can now be accessed.

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