27th and 30th June 2023, respectively in Guadeloupe and Saint-Lucia, Eastern Caribbean actors discovered whether tidal and wave energies were relevant for their territory.
Ys Energies Marines Développement was present, alongside its partners, to present study results.
Its’ been a few months now that the “ Interreg MRE Caribbean Project” consortium has been studying the potential of marine renewable energies in the Caribbean as part of the INTERREG Caribbean program. EKWA Consulting, Hill & Hill, David A. Simmons & Associates, Meteolien, Mariteam and YS Energies Marines Developpement have combined their know-how to study the feasibility of deploying tidal and wave technologies in the Eastern Caribbean. Objective: explore new virtuous and sustainable sources of energy.
On 27th and 30th June 2023, in Guadeloupe and Saint-Lucia, local authorities, businesses, citizens and students carefully followed the study restitution and participated in the round tables proposed. Followed officials spoke to introduce the event:
• Carmen MARQUES RUIZ, Ambassador of the European Union Climate Pact,
• Melford NICHOLAS, Minister of Information, Communication Technology (ICT), Utilities and Energy of Antigua Barbuda,
• Régis ELBEZ SGAR, sub-prefect of Guadeloupe,
• Brian CHALLENGER, Ambassador of Antigua Barbuda,
• Sylvie VANOUKIA, President of the Guadeloupe Region Energy Commission,
• Judith EPHRAIM, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Unit at the Commission of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States,
• James FLETCHER, Chairman of the Board of the Caribbean Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE),
• Fabian LEWIS, Public Services Officer, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labor of Saint Lucia
This study allowed:
- identify 4 wave energy pilot sites in Guadeloupe, Saint-Lucia, Martinique and Antigua;
- to propose different contractual and financial schemes for projects by involving all the stakeholders;
- make recommendations to continue identified projects development (consultation, on-site measurements, in-depth studies, etc.);
- to define professional training programs in the blue energy professions;
- to propose inclusive and participatory governance mechanisms involving local authorities, users and affected populations (fishing sector, port sector, etc.);
- to identify regional cooperation mechanisms between the different territories of the Eastern Caribbean on the technical, technological, academic, institutional and legal levels.
Increase in energy independence
Energy in the Caribbean relies heavily on imported fossil fuels. To give an example, Guadeloupe’s dependence on imported fuels (oil, fuel oil, coal, butane) is 93% (source: OREC Guadeloupe – 2020 data). These imports generate a high cost of electricity which constitutes an obstacle to citizen’s purchasing power.
Renewable marine energies are proving to be a real leverage for transforming the energy model of these islands. As part of the INTERREG Caribbean program, the study aims to secure energy supply and control its cost over the long term in 12 territories of the Eastern Caribbean: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands.
With the support of Europe
To move forward on this issue, these territories can count on the MRE-Caribbean project. Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and implemented by the Guadeloupe Region, the project aims to check the feasibility of developing marine renewable energy production projects (tidal and wave) in the Eastern Caribbean.
This is why the “Caribbean MRE Project” consortium has been created by the Guadeloupe-based company EKWA Consulting (leader partner), with Hill & Hill (Antigua) and David A. Simmons & Associates (Trinidad) as supporting Caribbean partners, followed by Ys Energies Marines Developpement (FR), Meteolien (FR) and Mariteam (FR).