Energy Policy Essential For Sustainable Growth

                                                        The Caribbean Is One Nation.

Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) 2013 Logo
In a previous article, we highlighted a speech given by the late Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Eric Williams. Dr. Williams, spoke of a huge food project that never saw the light of day. Around that time he also spoke about the effects of the “so-called energy crisis” in 1973 and said that the increase in oil prices resulted in the ability of the Trinidad and Tobago consumers to spend more money on food. It was Williams’ hope to use the bounty from oil prices to improve food production.

However, this is a world now far removed from that scenario because while oil is still the major source of energy, there has been a shift to others sources and the buzz words are now energy conservation and renewable energy. We now have to concentrate on using less oil and electricity and make a shift to solar, electric driven cars and wind energy. In other words continued dependency on oil as the major energy source will actually mean that we have to grapple with the twin monster of higher energy and food costs. This will no doubt keep our economies, with the exception of Trinidad in constant peril. Fortunately for Trinidad and Tobago, it has tremendous natural gas resources.

The failure of regional governments to move faster to implement national energy conversation policies, is yet another indication of the poor management of our economies. We are not suggesting that they are unaware or have done nothing but we are afraid that speechifying will come to naught if they drag their feet, in a manner similar to how they failed to implement the regional food plan forty years ago.

That failure has led to Caribbean consumers  becoming addicted to canned foods and it is a known fact that greedy business persons will have no difficulty in dumping their most inferior products in our region. We are further convinced, that the failure to have a regional food plan that will work in concert with our health care policies, is one of the major reasons we are now confronting many diet related health issues. While the economists engage in fancy speeches, our people are consuming junk food.

We therefore believe that there must be a more concentrated approach to energy conversation and there is no time to waste in implementing those policies that we only hear about but never see to come to light. We can easily understand why we have not been successful in transforming our economies because there seems to be an incredible lack of urgency. The production of more food, as previously mentioned and a comprehensive renewable energy plan, will within twenty years, bring our economies to a stage where we can avoid the “imported inflation” that the visionary Eric Williams identified four decades ago. Failure to act now would mean another forty years of failure.

Note: The Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) 2013 will take place in Aruba from October 9-11
Their website link is below:

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