BASSETERRE, ST. Kitts – MINISTER OF ENERGY the Hon. Ian ‘Patches’ Liburd is calling on regional energy stakeholders to find new ways to lower the high cost associated with the use of cooling equipment.
It is estimated that the equipment, including air conditioners and refrigerators, absorb some 40% of a country’s electricity that is produced.
Addressing the opening of a regional training workshop on the ‘Rational for Energy Efficiency in the Cooling Sector’ at the Marriott Resort today (Sept. 12), Minister Liburd said, among other things, that the region is still heavily dependent on the use of imported fossil fuel to generate power supply and the time has come for regional governments to take heed of the impact it causes on the environment.
He said regional leaders must also take into consideration the “fiscal implication from the fluctuating oil prices” on the international market.
“Volatile oil prices limits economic development and degrades our environment,” explained Liburd.
He claimed that despite the cost of electricity in the region being low, many countries continue to use the power supply in a very “inefficient manner”.
The Federation’s Energy Minister pointed out that more must be done to reduce the region’s carbon emission from the non-energy sector, such as transportation.
To this end, he disclosed that “the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector is responsible for a significant share of GHG, Global greenhouse gases”.
This, according to the workshop facilitators, is due to the low efficiency and high leakage rate of refrigerant gases which has high global warming potential.
They projected that the emission is expected to reach a peak of 30% by 2030.
“The rapidly expanding middle class and changing lifestyles translate into a growing demand for refrigeration and air conditioning. In order to mitigate both direct and indirect emissions from the cooling sector, the introduction and diffusion of greenhouse cooling technologies is of paramount importance,” the facilitators said.
Liburd, on the other hand, opined that training workshops on the efficiency in the cooling sector would help regional governments – primarily ministries of energy - in creating and implementing a reliable framework for fostering energy efficient in the cooling and air conditioning sector.
The workshop will run for five days and a number of topics on energy efficiency in the region would be up for discussions.