FortisTCI Boss Tells Regional Firms to Use More Renewable Energy

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AS CARIBBEAN utility leaders, we can and we must integrate more renewable energy solutions in our delivery of service.”
Eddinton Powell, president and CEO of FortisTCI, urged fellow utilities heads across the region to use more eco-friendly sources of power, during an annual meeting.
As acting chair of the Caribbean Electric Utilities Corporation (Carilec), he also said that the firms must be at the “forefront” of the electrification of ground transportation.
Powell was speaking at the 2019 Carilec CEOs and Leadership Conference in Saint Lucia last week, which coincided with Carilec’s 30th anniversary.
The conference, held May 21 to 24, was jointly hosted by the Carilec, an association of Caribbean energy solutions providers, and St Lucia Electricity Services.
Powell told the meeting that utility companies have a responsibility to lead Caribbean economies toward a new energy landscape. 
“These are critical imperatives for the Caribbean, if we are to reduce our dependency on traditional hydrocarbon fuel sources, much of it imported to the region, with all of the uncertainties that this entails,” he said.
“With an energy economy led by renewables and a transformed and electrified transportation sector, we can open the way for even greater entrepreneurship and ultimately wealth creation, throughout the region.” 
Keynote speaker, president and CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation, Jaako Eskola, also sounded a championing note with respect to the transition to renewables.
He disclosed that Wärtsilä’s corporate vision in its energy business is to support the move to 100 percent renewables.
Eskola said: “Rapid cost reduction – both capital and operating costs – of wind and solar is steadily making it economically feasible to deploy these technologies especially in conditions such as you have here in the Caribbean.
“I feel that the time is not far away when wind and solar power generation will assume the mantle of least cost generators of electric power.” 
Carilec CEOs and business operators in attendance applauded a pledge articulated by Wärtsilä’s CEO, a corporation ranked as one of Most Sustainable 100 Corporations in the World (2018).
“We are ready to assist you in modelling your power systems, help you to develop the best strategy for defining your generation mix, help you understand the impacts of wind and solar generation, and together develop the best suited integrative strategy including storage technologies and flexible power,” Eskola said.
Stephenson King, Minister of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labour, spoke on behalf of the government of Saint Lucia.
He said: “Carilec must recognise that since energy is a critical driver in economic development, Carilec and its members are essential partners in that development.
“Thus, given the challenges of the extreme threats of climate change for Caribbean economies, much depends on a new vision for the future of our region’s energy sector that is tailored to these times.”
Utility leaders, service providers and global corporations, represented 25 countries from the Caribbean, North America and Europe.
The conference was held under the theme ‘Rethinking? Disruption. Resilience. Sustainability’ during which delegates explored global trends and opportunities in the renewables sector, technology, and investment demands driven by climate change.