The Caribbean to Benefit from Energy Partnership

Speaking at an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial Meeting in Washington, DC, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton pledged to help advance sustainable energy in the Caribbean. She said, “This is the area of the world most dependent on imported fossil fuels and suffering from the world’s highest electricity rates. That’s shameful in our hemisphere, and it shouldn’t be. The people of the Caribbean are creative, resilient; they’re able to lead the way in new forms of energy, and we want to be a partner. The United States will provide a grant to the Organization of American States to lend technical and legal expertise to any Caribbean country seeking to help get clean energy projects off the ground. We are committed to helping you with energy security. We think clean energy and energy security go hand in hand.”

Clinton explained that the OAS, the Caribbean energy ministers, CARICOM, the World Bank, the IDB, and officials from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have launched a dialogue to explore the possibility of installing undersea electric cables in the region to give the Caribbean access to new power supplies. “Another exciting possibility would link Puerto Rico with the US Virgin Islands and a third would link the islands of Nevis and St Kitts. So we have a lot we can do and we have to get started. Imagine a future in which instead of waiting for those oil tankers to come and dock, Caribbean nations are supplying each other with energy, whether it’s geothermal power from Dominica or gas from Trinidad.” She also said the United States will support energy and environmental security in Central America.

Clinton stated that the United States will also work to advance sustainable biomass energy. In countries like Brazil, biomass in the form of crushed sugar cane stalks is used to power ethanol distilleries. There was a curious absence of direct references to Venezuela, except to thank that country for providing energy to Haiti in this time of need, a recognition that was long coming.

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