Caribbean island nations are uniquely positioned to become leaders in renewable energy development. How can clean energy in the Caribbean increase energy reliability, lead to job growth, and help the environment?  Today’s guests, Andrew Polich and Chad Johnson from Vittoria Energy Expedition, help us explore the issue.

The Caribbean’s Renewable Energy Potential

Caribbean island nations have potential to produce a significant amount of power from renewable energy sources. Although currently dependent on oil imports primarily from an increasingly tumultuous Venezuela, the islands’ abundance of sunshine and high winds make them ideal markets for clean energy.

A dedicated campaign to invest in renewable energy in the Caribbean can improve livelihoods and help the environment by decreasing reliability on foreign oil, spurring economic growth and job creation, and reducing the region’s carbon footprint.

Efforts Underway

Initiatives like Vittoria Energy Expedition, the Clinton Foundation’s Island Energy Program, and Engage Cuba are working to promote sustainable energy projects in the region. Caribbean governments have also spearheaded clean energy initiatives. For instance, Cuba is developing solar and wind projects as part of its effort to increase renewable energy production from 5% of electricity generation today to 24% by 2030.

Barriers to Entry

Not all Caribbean countries will be easy to enter. Despite the Obama administration’s recent outreach to the Cuban government, U.S. businesses face legal and congressional barriers to entry into Cuban markets. Moreover, the incoming administration has threatened to “terminate” recent efforts to normalize U.S.-Cuban relations. U.S.-based groups and initiatives promoting renewable energy in the Caribbean will continue to face an uphill battle.

Dig Deeper

We encourage you learn more about our friends at Vittoria Energy and their mission. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Additionally, take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

About the Author
Bobby is a second-year MA candidate in the Security Policy Studies program at the George Washington University’s Elliott School. He serves as the Show Notes Writer for Matters of State. Prior to attending GW, Bobby worked as a legal assistant for the government contracts practice of a DC law firm. He earned his BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Notre Dame. His academic and professional interests are cyber security and energy security policy.