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T&T eyeing renewables for power generation

Published: 
Friday, April 21, 2017
Energy PS Lashley:
Energy Minister Franklin Khan presents a portrait painting of Port of Spain to Chilean ambassador,Fernando Schmidt during a cocktail reception hosted by Schmidt on the occasion of the Second Preparatory Meeting of the 2017 Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Third Ministerial at Ellerslie Park St Clair Port of Spain on Wednesday.

Despite T&T’s history in the oil and gas sectors, the country has the goal to diversify some of its power generation towards renewable sources, said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy Selwyn Lashley.

He said T&T has been an oil-producing country for over 100 years, and despite its economy’s reliance on fossil fuels, T&T is making the effort to begin diversifying into alternative sources of energy.

“T&T has a strong energy sector and we have a true commitment moving forward and transitioning our energy mix and aspects of our economy to what we describe as the new energy future with a lower carbon footprint. We signed on to the Paris Accord and last week the Cabinet has approved ratification. Our national objective is to ensure that by 2021 we have 10 per cent of our power generation coming from renewable energy. As we speak it is still 100 per cent fossil-fuel based,” he said.

Lashley spoke yesterday at the second preparatory meeting for the Third Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial held at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, St Ann’s.

He said the forum is to hold constructive dialogue among all regional countries.

Energy ministers from around the region will gather in Chile in September for the Third Ministerial Meeting of the ECPA where issues like renewable energy will be discussed.

“An important issue is the whole business of creating an elevated level of awareness and participation by our respective populations,” he said.

He said the role of private businesses is important in any discussion on climate change and new technologies in this area.

“We are not only talking about collaboration at a country level but collaboration involving the private sector because certainly the private sector has an important role in moving forward the initiatives which begin with the Government in terms of providing the framework, incentives and policies. As we go forward the expectation is that the private sector will be intimately involved.”

The objective of the second preparatory meeting leading up to the third ministerial, is to further discussions on national and regional sustainable energy priorities, and to promote public-private partnerships for the advancement of sustainable energy. Potential areas of action will be identified ahead of the Third ECPA ministerial in Chile.

The second preparatory meeting is being jointly hosted by the Ministry of Energy, and the Organization of American States (OAS), which acts as the Technical Coordinating Unit (TCU) for the ECPA.

The ECPA was announced in April 2009 by then US President Barack Obama at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which was held in Port-of-Spain. The ECPA was designed as a mechanism for governments of the Western Hemisphere and private-sector leaders, to address the shared challenge of energy and climate change, in the hope of creating a sustainable future.