Prime Minister Hon. Kenny Anthony Commits to Higher National Renewable Energy Targets
On Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands, on Thursday 6th February, 2014, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony and Sir Richard Branson signed the Memorandum of Understanding that made it official – Saint Lucia became the second island to join the Ten Island Challenge.
The Ten Island Challenge was launched at the Rio+20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 by Sir Richard Branson and Christiana Figueres, the Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, and provides a platform for progressive island governments to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels “through the acceleration of commercial opportunities on islands” by attracting investments and technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
At the Creating Climate Wealth Summit that was held in the British Virgin Islands and hosted by Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, Saint Lucia joined Aruba, which itself had joined the Ten Island Challenge in 2012. In signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the Carbon War Room, Saint Lucia unlocks significant technical and legal support for its geothermal development programme, the mapping of its energy ecosystem, the development of a utility-scale solar-photovoltaic facility, and the implementation of a waste-to-energy project, among other energy-related initiatives.
Saint Lucia’s participation in the renewable energy meeting, at which it was represented by the Prime Minister, the Energy Minister Hon. Dr. James Fletcher and the Chief Energy, Science and Technology Officer Ms. Judith Ephraim, was made even more memorable by a commitment given by Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony at the closing of the event.
In 2011, on assuming office, the Kenny Anthony administration committed to increasing the production of electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind, and geothermal and in the process, to cause Saint Lucia to meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by the year 2020. However, Prime Minister Anthony is sufficiently convinced that Saint Lucia is capable of meeting and surpassing those goals that last week, in the British Virgin Islands, he requested that his Energy Minister increase this target to 35% by the year 2020.
Critical to meeting this goal will be the development of our geothermal resource and two weeks ago, a team from the World Bank visited Saint Lucia at the invitation of the government to help advance the geothermal development programme. In the coming weeks, the Government of Saint Lucia will intensify discussions with private investors and developers in the geothermal and wind energy sectors with a view to making concrete steps toward meeting the 35% by 2020 target.