GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Financial institutions across the Caribbean had the opportunity this week to learn more about project support systems and tools within the renewable energy and energy efficiency space in a Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE)/ Caricom Development Fund (CDF) hosted webinar.
More than 25 financial institutions participated in the sensitisation session
The agencies said that although renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies have seen notable decreases in cost, leading to significantly lower capital needed to invest in new systems, financing renewable energy projects remains a major difficulty in the region.
But project development support, along with risk reduction measures can increase investment in these projects, CDF and CCREEE both said.
CCREEE’s executive director, Dr Gary Jackson, remarked on the centrality of financial institutions — such as commercial banks, credit unions and development banks — in the development of the sustainable energy sector.
“The CCREEE recognises that there are gaps existing in sustainable energy project development and the establishment of the Project Preparation Facility seeks to fill some of those gaps. It cannot be done however, without partnerships; partnerships with the private sector and with regional bodies,” he said.
The CCREEE Project Preparation Facility (PPF) is being established with a view to tackle barriers to the development of high-quality sustainable energy projects across Caricom. In tandem, the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF) seeks to incentivise additional lending from local financing institutions for renewable energy and energy efficiency interventions in CDF member States.
“As our region seeks to lessen its reliance on fossil fuels for its energy needs, an ambition which is critical to achievement of the sustainable growth and prosperity of our mainly island economies, the ability to provide appropriate and adequate financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects has become an increasingly important enabler.
“It is therefore imperative that local financial institutions become better acquainted with, and acquire a sound understanding of the tools and facilities that are being designed by our regional agencies to enhance their capacity to assess, fund and manage sustainable energy loan portfolios,” said Rodinald Soomer, chief executive officer of the CDF.