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Caribbean countries have been encouraged to follow the best practices employed by other territories when integrating electric vehicles (EVs) into their power distribution networks.
Regional Mobile Electric Advisor for GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) and the NDC-TEC project, Antonio Sealy, said the islands should focus on the challenges and opportunities in the adoption of EVs.
He was speaking to a group comprising local, regional, and international stakeholders in the energy sector, at the ASERT 2023 Workshop in Kingston on November 9.
“My hope is that the session was informative enough to trigger some of the minds of the policymakers, the decision-makers within all the various ministries across the region with the intent to go back and look into some of the practices and processes that are happening in countries and see how they can be improved to facilitate the uptake of the electric vehicle,” Mr. Sealy said.
The meeting was a major highlight of the eighth Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF), held from November 7 through to 9 in Kingston, under the theme ‘Powering Transport’.
CSEF is the premier clean-energy event in the Caribbean and places EVs front and centre at its 2023 staging.
It facilitates high-level dialogue and identifies actions to promote a shift to sustainable energy, through increased use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency applications, and energy management technologies within CARICOM Member States.
Although the region is embracing EVs at a slower pace than other areas, Mr. Sealy said, the countries should consider this as an opportunity to get things right from the beginning.
“I do not see it as a disadvantage. Obviously, we want to meet climate targets, we want to meet energy targets and different things… so we need to put everything in place to ensure that [it all] happens,” he said.
In Jamaica, the Government has embarked on building out an ecosystem around electric vehicles, which includes the Electric Mobility Policy that took effect last year.
This framework allows persons to import EVs into the island. Additionally, the country’s public transportation system is being transformed with the introduction of several electric buses to the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC) fleet.
The private sector is also heavily invested in the building out of the country’s electric mobility ecosystem.
CSEF 2023 was held collaboratively by CARICOM, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, New Energy, Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and Jamaica Electric Vehicle Association.