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US selects Grenada as pilot for energy initiative
Published on September 3, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

APIA, Samoa (GIS) -- A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the United States and Grenada to support Grenada's efforts to transition towards renewable energy, while reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell
This was announced on Monday by Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell at the international conference of small island developing states (SIDS) in Samoa in the Pacific.

According to Mitchell, this is a “major partnership between Grenada and the United States to help the transformation of Grenada's energy sector.”

The MOU with Grenada is the first of its kind in the region for the United States.

Support from the US will focus on improving the energy enabling environment and assisting with bringing additional partners and scaled-up investments to Grenada.

In his remarks in Samoa, Mitchell referred to recent announcements by the US Vice President Joe Biden, and US Secretary of State, in reference to the global $16 trillion market for energy, and the $12 billion opportunity for renewable energy in the Caribbean region.

Mitchell noted that Grenada's seriousness on energy and sustainable development was a critical factor in the decision of the United States to select Grenada as the pilot country for their regional initiative on new energy.

Electricity prices in island states are generally high. In the Caribbean, it ranges between 35 cents (US) and 65 cents (US) per kilowatt-hour. In Grenada the price is 45 cents. Electricity from wind energy and solar energy can now be delivered for less in other jurisdictions. Grenada has both of these resources and may also have sufficient geothermal energy to provide "base-load" power. However, exploratory drilling to prove the resource is costly and Grenada is seeking help in this regard.

The prime minister said that the high price of electricity in island states made them ideal candidates for implementation of renewables, without the need for subsidies.

The Mitchell government has been reaching out to partners to help Grenada's energy initiatives, with a view to lowering electricity costs for Grenadian households and businesses.

Discussions and work have been underway with Germany's GIZ, IRENA, SIDS DOCK and the World Bank. Further, following an MOU signed by Mitchell in Washington DC in April this year, Sir Richard Branson's Carbon War Room, working together with the Rocky Mountain Institute, has been liaising with both Grenada and the United States. Moreover, The Clinton Climate Initiative also expressed a willingness to support the transition process, following visits to Grenada in July this year.

Mitchell thanked the United States and Grenada's partners for their confidence in Grenada and called on all partners to join the “Green Grenada Investment Forum” scheduled for later this year. This will help to finalize a practical roadmap for investment, action and transformation.
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