Energy and Physical Planning workshop opens

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Physical planning professionals within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are meeting here this week to promote the exchange of information on how sustainable energy could be incorporated in development projects in each member state.
The three-day workshop, which opened yesterday at the Halcyon by Rex Resorts, is being sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) along with the Organization of American States (OAS) and other development agencies from Canada, the United Kingdom and the US.
OECS Representative Judith Ephraim said the workshop seeks to not only build the capacity for supporting greater incorporation of renewable energy and energy efficiency in development pathway, but also sets the stage for closer collaboration between energy and physical planning professionals in the region.
“The nexus between physical planning and sustainable energy requires that planning professionals develop an adequate appreciation of sustainable energy and a capacity to provide the required guidance to developers consistent with best practice,” Ephraim said.
She further stated that utility scale renewable energy projects typically need large areas of land which present a major challenge for small island developing states and planners are forced to mediate between competing demand for land usage while at the same time promoting the implementation of renewable energy projects.
“Given that most of these projects are relatively new to our region, capacity must be built within our Development Control Authority (DCA) to evaluate renewable energy project proposals satisfactorily and make the necessary recommendations to ensure environmental protection,” Ephraim said.
Tourism Minister Asot Michael, who delivered the feature remarks, gave a brief overview of the steps taken by the government of Antigua & Barbuda to lessen the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and move towards more renewable energy options.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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