The Caribbean's Renewable Energy Future

Amos J. Hochstein, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs
Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum Conference (CREF) Opening Remarks
Miami, Florida
October 19, 2015

I am here to say that the United States government wants to be involved in renewable energy in the Caribbean, and that is why we are here today. I am here not by myself, I am here with a delegation from across the U.S. government, from several different agencies that is here today and will be here for the next couple of days. Caribbean states that have 11 months of summer, wind, geothermal. To create new jobs and most importantly to create energy security for the future. To create that prosperity, to not be dependent on one source, but to be dependent on the source that is not disrupted by geopolitics or economics. We are not going to see a cloudy day that lasts for a year because of geopolitics. This is the time to get that done.

And what is different about this year is that, in CREF we often talk about, for the last several years, all of the good things that we could do, and then we come back a year later and we talk about all of the good things that we can do – but now is different – we have, the stars are aligned. If you look at, if you listen to the conversation today that we had today with our colleagues in CARICOM, putting together institutions in CARICOM that will help lead that way, organizing internally to be able to bring that support. The multilateral institutions, and financial institutions that are eager to come in on the investment side, the U. S. government, the EU, individual member states, the UAE, every individual organization, state or government is here to be able to make this a reality.

And when you’re in case after case, of island after island that is announcing new projects, we have an opportunity. It takes political will, it takes the business case, and look around, we are in the middle of a trade show here, all these companies are here and they are not here because there is no business case. There is. But it’s not going to be a magic bullet, it’s not going to be necessarily easy it’s going to require hard work, it’s going to require taking that political will and translating it into and creating an environment that is hospitable to business. And it means that the U.S. government along with all our allies and friends around the world are willing to come to the table to make that business case happen and to support it. And it means that we will have a much better, brighter more prosperous future for the Caribbean. We want to partner. We want to partner with all of you here and with governments across the Caribbean. And I know that that this is going to serve the interest of the American people, the Caribbean people, and the planet at the same time. So thank you for inviting me, have a good conference, and thank you very much.