Regional energy conference to be held in St Lucia this month

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Regional energy conference to be held in St Lucia this month

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia — Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) and Saint Lucia Electricity Services (LUCELEC) will jointly host the 2019 CARILEC chief executive officers and leadership conference slated for 21st to May 25 in Saint Lucia.

This year’s theme, “Rethinking? Disruption, Resilience, Sustainability” will bring into focus policy, operations and practice imperatives for governments and operators within the context of energy, climate change, climate funding and the region’s economy. The annual industry summit is a regional forum for thought leadership on developments, trends and opportunities for the sector and the region. It is highly subscribed by top tier professionals from both the demand and supply sides of the industry alongside international agencies, policymakers, NGOs and consultants from the region’s energy and electricity industries.

At a press briefing Thursday, May 9, executive director of CARILEC Dr Cletus Bertin outlined the background against which the 2019 CEO and leadership conference takes place and the cross-cutting issues which will be explored during the summit.

According to Bertin, the power sector is experiencing unprecedented change driven by a combination of complex disruptive factors such as climate change impacts, natural disasters and aging infrastructure; technological innovation; changes in power supply dynamics and customer needs; policy shifts and regulatory reform; fossil fuel price volatility; electrification of transport; and cyber and man-made threats.

In seeking to address these existential threats and facilitate appropriate and timely interventions, the regional agenda by key decision-makers and stakeholders in the energy sector in the Caribbean region has been to begin to “reconsider the approaches to but triage the complex  issues of disruption, resilience and sustainability from various angles and differentiated viewpoints; re-examine the energy sector’s transition readiness; and prioritize actions towards the creation of a robust enabling environment but much more needs to be done urgently to assure a successful energy future for the region,” Bertin said.

Roger Joseph, corporate communications manager at LUCELEC, highlighted that recent disruptive weather-related events have exacerbated the vulnerability of the Caribbean power sector, underpinned the gaps in energy resilience but underscored the need for acceleration along more sustainable energy trajectories. Joseph said that the goal of the sector is resilience and sustainability, “the path to get there is not straightforward. Sustained dialogue and consensus are critical to achieving simultaneous improvements in these critical but sometimes competing, areas of interest.”

A packed agenda is planned over the span of four days inclusive of a finance meeting, members-only speed networking, an annual general meeting, major industry presentations and plenaries.

The 2019 keynote speaker will be Jaako Eskola president and chief executive officer of  Wartsila Corporation, which was listed last year among the “2018 Global 100” most sustainable corporations in the World.

Associating with the 2019 CARILEC chief executive officers and leadership conference as event sponsors are a number of  international corporations and services including CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, The Danish power plant specialist Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), Wärtsilä Corporation, US-based electrical systems integrator Electronic Power Design, Sol Caribbean, Aggreko, New Fortress and Eagle LNG.

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