Jeane Nikolai. *Photo supplied
Jeane Nikolai. *Photo supplied
Bermuda will promote the benefits of renewable energy at a major Caribbean seminar next week.

Jeane Nikolai, the island’s Director of Energy, will be the keynote speaker at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Finance Conference in Jamaica.

This event will focus on practical, innovative ways to finance renewable energy projects in the Caribbean.

It will evaluate the current state of the region’s renewable energy sector and provide essential solutions to ensure successful and profitable projects.

Ms Nikolai was invited to  attend the conference by its organizers, Energy Utility Consultants, at their expense after meeting her at a previous forum.

In her keynote address, she will give an overview of the Caribbean’s regional challenges in terms of energy, what strides the region has taken, the impediments to getting more renewable energy in the region and ways forward. 

She said: “We are fettered primarily by policy, regionally speaking. 

“If we had feed-in tariffs agreed, import policies regularized as much as possible and if energy was a top priority for every one of the Caricom partners, we would see a great deal more business in terms of renewables being attracted to our collective shores. 

“Together we would have much more purchasing power, if we were to embark on utility scale projects in a consortium fashion. 

“Right now, we all seem to have different national priorities despite our strikingly similar energy challenges and we seem to be much more interested in beating one another to the punch.”

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Ms Nikolai has been Director of Energy since August 2009.

She said: “This conference could be pivotal to really tapping into the power of collaboration and making Caricom work for us, just as the EU works for its member nations. 

It’s a great opportunity to attract business to Bermuda.”

The Conference will take place on May 2 and 3 in Jamaica’s Montego Bay.

Walter Roban, Minister of the Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy, said:  “This is an excellent opportunity for Bermuda to raise its profile. 

“We have an opportunity to attract renewable energy investors to Bermuda and we’re ready. 

“We can lead but it is also our duty to make sure our Caribbean neighbours are not left behind.”