OUR FUTURE IS ELECTRIC | SURINAME & REGIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY FORUM 2022
Foto compilation: Orlando Olmberg SEC, dr Devon Gardner CCREE and Dave van Abeleven EAS
Charting the Sustainable Energy Pathway for CARICOM & Suriname
The first Regional & Suriname Renewable Energy Forum, which will be held in the last quarter of 2022, is aimed at strengthening the commitment of Suriname and the region as a whole to integrate renewable energy as part of its energy matrix now and in the future and to promote and coordinate a more intensified use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and models. This event is also part of the CARIICOM energy month. In the CARICOM region, November is earmarked as Energy Month to increase awareness on energy consumption and to encourage energy-saving actions.
The initiators of this event, Energy Authority of Suriname (EAS), Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) and Suriname Energy Chamber (SEC), want to make sure that as much as possible relevant stakeholders are involved in the efforts to promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and models in the region as part of the electrification planning. For this purpose, a number of these key stakeholders have been approached to take part in the organizing of this event as partners. Government ministries and agencies as well as private business, NGO’s and professionals active in the energy sector are key in assuring the success of a coordinated effort to intensify the use of renewable resources for the purpose of electricity generation and distribution.
The Regional & Suriname Renewable Energy Forum should be a meeting place and platform for all those active and involved in the energy sector, for structured and unstructured networking and synergy opportunities. The agenda of this event will be designed in a way to extract information and insight which is not readily available from other sources or online. Also, this event will consist of interactive sessions designed to draw out and explore opportunities for investment and development region- and nationwide. In the brave new post-Covid world, there is an unmatched eagerness in the Caribbean to push forward with the energy transition. The time for talk has ended; action is center stage. While, however, opportunity is abundant and investors are waiting in the wings, the lack of framework is slowing down progress.
As investor interest increases, so the regulatory framework needs to move in step. The significant increase in the pace of investment required across the region necessitates unprecedented participation by the private sector. The need for enabling regulatory frameworks has become even more urgent if we are to achieve our regional and national sustainable energy targets. It is very evident that capital remains abundant – as, frankly, are project opportunities, but the need for regulation and coordination of efforts is as well very if not the most important action to be taken at this moment.
The full and free dialogue which is needed at the Regional & Suriname Renewable Energy Forum should symbolize the power of collaboration in the region and Suriname. Partnerships are key to project implementation – whether between strategic international and local players for utility-scale projects, but also increasingly between the business community and project developers who can provide optimized energy solutions in the growing distributed power market.
No single organization or set of stakeholders can make the transition happen alone. The region, including Suriname faces major challenges to ensure energy security and only when public and private interests are fully aligned can these challenges be met and the energy transition successfully implemented. The substance of the first Regional & Suriname Renewable Energy Forum – its content in particularly– will be one of a intangible feeling of urgency and demand to exchange ideas and information in order to implement the renewable energy technology and models that are out there and can be adapted to the regional and Suriname environment. This event will be one which augurs well for movement and momentum in the market over the coming months and years.
The format what will be used for this event shall be derived from the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) which is organized every year in April. For this purpose, the necessary technical support was acquired from the organizer of CREF, being New Energy. With the financial and additional support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the CARICOM Secretariat it is expected that this first event aimed at Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency should be a success in laying the groundwork for the further development of these technologies and models for the purpose of a greener and sustainable energy future of Suriname and the region.