Caricom launches energy innovation challenge


Caricom launches energy innovation challenge

Saturday, January 18, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Caribbean students are being asked to design novel concepts for use and management of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), as part of a regional initiative launched by the Barbados-based Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE).

CCREEE, in collaboration with the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat, launched the 'Caricom Energy Innovation Challenge', which is open to teams of primary and secondary school students.

The organisers said that the sudents are being asked to make submissions indicating also the importance of a STEAM lab to their school, community and everyday life. Secondary students are being asked to design novel concepts for use and management of the STEAM Centre.

They said the best proposal for bringing the STEAM Centre and student network to life will determine the first pilot Caricom STEAM Centre.

“This competition is very much in line with CCREEE's mission and mandate to transform the Caribbean energy landscape,” said CCREEE's Executive Director Dr Gary Jackson.

“The STEAM centres planned for the region will feature sustainable energy and climate technologies, such as rainwater harvesting and waste water treatment, on-site power generation from renewable sources, and distribution to neighbouring households and facilities through a micro-grid,” he added.

Head of the Energy Unit within the Caricom Secretariat, Dr Devon Gardner said mini-grids will be an important component of these STEAM centres.

“We hope that the establishment of the STEAM centres will also address issues related to the participation of women across a range of careers within STEAM disciplines, with a special focus on energy. CCREEE, as a part of the Caricom family, will ensure that underserved areas in Caricom territories will have improved energy access as a key element of their new strategic plan.”

CCREEE was established as the implementation hub for sustainable energy activities and projects within the region. Caricom said that “it is recognised that the solution to many of our sustainable development challenges of our region is through access to clean, affordable and reliable energy services which are fundamental to reducing poverty, promoting economic growth, and enhancing competitiveness”.

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