U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Caribbean and Central America leaders at the U.S.-Caribbean-Central American Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. (White House image)
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. May 6, 2016: The United States says it is committed to working with the Caribbean and Central American to lower energy costs to nationals.
The commitment came as Vice President Joe Biden chaired the U.S.-Caribbean-Central American Energy Summit in Washington, D.C. that was hosted by the State Department in conjunction with the 46th Annual Washington Conference on the Americas from May 3-4th.
To this end, the U.S. government is allocating over $2 million in technical support and assistance for the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) Platform which was launched by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on May 4th.
The State Department added that to will seek to provide up to $5 million to assist Central America to help further the progress of the Regional Electricity Market (known by its Spanish acronym, MER) and realize the region’s vision of a vibrant, interconnected regional electricity market that could have transformative effects on Central America’s competitiveness and prosperity.
So far, the US has taken concrete steps through the The Department of State’s Power Sector Program to support the Nevis Island Administration and the Nevis Electric Company in launching a competitive tender for geothermal resources and comprehensive commercial and technical analyses on the interconnection with St. Kitts, engineering analysis for the island’s distribution system, and environmental analysis of existing slim wells and approved licenses for the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), which began flowing to the region earlier this year.
And the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is currently conducting due diligence on hundreds of millions of dollars of additional investment for renewable and clean energy projects across Central America and the Caribbean.
“The United States joins with other international and regional institutions, as well as public and private partners, to support efforts in the Caribbean and Central America to achieve a more secure energy future that supports economic growth and the environment and is based on the highest standards of regional cooperation, innovation, and investment,” a White House statement said Thursday.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke at the Summit on Tuesday, May 3rd, stressed promotion of issues such as trade, transparency and clean energy as vital to the region’s future. “Now more than ever, citizens all around the world are making clear to everybody that corruption is not going to be tolerated,” Kerry said.
The Energy Summit is the culmination of the Obama Administration’s energy initiatives in regions that pay some of the highest electricity prices in the Americas, hurting competitiveness and consumers.