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Date: 03 Oct, 2011
Source: Invest Barbados

The Government of Barbados has announced that it will co-host the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum 2011 (CREF 2011). CREF, the region’s biggest gathering of renewable energy stakeholders is expected to attract upwards of 300 Caribbean and international delegates. Hosted in conjunction with CARICOM, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS), the conference aims to catalyze the development of economically-sound renewable energy projects across the Caribbean.

Hon. Darcy Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, is confident that the conference has an important role to play. He indicated that “CREF 2011 comes at a vital time for our nation. The price of oil continues to be high and it is essential that we maximize our efforts to achieve long-term energy security without delay. Renewable energy – be it from wind, solar or other sources – will play a key role in the construction of this security. We will shortly be announcing new policy initiatives to expedite this process. Hosting CREF will serve to keep the spotlight on this issue, to raise public awareness, and to highlight to foreign investors new opportunities in Barbados.”

According to CREF Executive Director, Matthew Perks, “We are delighted to be bringing CREF to Barbados for 2011. Given the progress that the Government continues to make towards diversifying the country’s energy supply, it is particularly appropriate that the conference should take place here. We look forward to collaborating with the Government and with local stakeholders to highlight local renewable energy initiatives and to promote new investment opportunities to international developers.”

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will open the conference and will be joined on the agenda by Minister Boyce and several of his counterparts from across the region, including the new Jamaican Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. Clive Mullings; the Bermudian Minister of Energy, Hon. Walter Roban; the Deputy Premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. Other speakers of note include Hon. Kenneth McClintock, Secretary of State of Puerto Rico; Don Roberts, Vice Chairman of CIBC World Markets; Wayne Crawley, President & CEO of Emera Caribbean; Lynn Tabernacki, Managing Director, Renewable Energy Finance, OPIC; and Adrian Katzew, Regional Director for Vestas, the world’s largest manufacturers of wind turbines.

Well-known Barbadian names are also prominent on the agenda. Confirmed to participate in a discussion on investment opportunities in the Barbados renewable energy sector are Ralph “Bizzy” Williams of Williams Industries, James Husbands of Solar Dynamics, Dr. Leonard Nurse of BNOC, Peter Williams of Barbados Light & Power, Wayne Kirton of Invest Barbados, and Andy Armstrong of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Underscoring their commitment to the local and regional market, senior sponsors of this year’s conference include Vestas, the turbine manufacturer, and Emera, the Canadian utility which now owns 80% of Light & Power Holdings.

The 2011 Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF 2011) will take place at the Hilton Barbados from October 12th-14th.

For more information on the conference please visit www.caribbeanenergyforum.com. You may also contact Mr. Jehu Wiltshire, Division of Energy and Telecommunications, Government of Barbados at telephone 246-434-2501 / 2533 or Mr. Matthew Perks, Executive Director, Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum at telephone 1-305-206-1461 or by e-mail at mperks@caribbeanenergyforum.com.