Region's biggest gathering of renewable energy leaders in October
New Energy Events, the organizer of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF), has announced that CREF 2010 will take place at Atlantis, The Bahamas, from October 13th to 15th of this year.
Energy prices across the Caribbean remain high while the price of oil, as the global economy continues to improve, threatens to head north again. At the same time, renewable energy technologies become ever more sophisticated - and less expensive. So while the need for renewable energy implementation across the region remains critically high, so does the opportunity.
CREF 2009 in its inaugural year gathered 300 participants from 37 countries. This year's conference will continue to bring together the full range of stakeholders need to advance renewable energy development across the region, from the region's governments and utilities, to international investors and technology providers.
Says Matthew Perks, CREF's executive director, "We were overwhelmed by the response to the first CREF. Given the improving economic conditions and the more favorable investment environment, we are very excited to see what sort of momentum this year's CREF can generate."
Jerry Butler, CREF's chairman, is equally confident of a successful event, but stresses the importance of focusing on the regulatory and policy environment: "We have seen great strides from the region's governments in recent times. We hope to see continued focus and progress towards a policy environment that favours the development of renewables."
Also on this year's agenda for discussion are the possibilities for developing a regional, inter-connected, power market along the lines of what has been constructed in Central America. According to Matthew Perks, this could be a game changer: "If you have the opportunity to generate electricity domestically and then sell it into a regional grid, it changes the economics of energy in the Caribbean. It also puts a very different complexion on energy security."
Confirmed speakers include Hon. Phenton Neymour of the Bahamas Government; Hon. Kenneth McClintock, Secretary of State, Puerto Rico; Will Wynn, former Mayor of Austin, Texas; Leandro Alves, Chief, Energy Division, Inter-American Development Bank; Peter Williams, CEO, Barbados Light and Power; Jigar Shah, CEO of Richard Branson's Carbon War Room; and Earl Barrett, General Manager, Wigton Wind Farm, Jamaica.