Cayman to host transitional energy conference

James Whittaker of the Cayman Renewable Energy Association and Infrastructure Minister Kurt Tibbetts discuss the energy conference. – PHOTO: JAMES WHITTAKER

Ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau and entrepreneur Richard Branson will be the keynote speakers at the Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference at the Kimpton Seafire Resort in May.

Mr. Cousteau will appear in person at the event, while Mr. Branson will deliver his speech by video link.

The event will feature speeches and discussions on low carbon pathways, commercial opportunities in the sector, and the potential for island nations to increase renewable energy use through new storage technologies. There will also be presentations from the Caribbean Utilities Company and Dart Real Estate and on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, a renewable energy method being piloted in Cayman.

Sponsored by government and the Dart Group and organized by the Cayman Renewable Energy Association, the event is scheduled for May 11 and 12.

James Whittaker, president of CREA, said the Cayman Islands has the opportunity to emerge as a regional leader in the renewable energy sector.

“Cayman seeks to stand with other islands in the region and across the world to embrace a low carbon future and to stand on the front line of delivering secure, reliable and economically feasible clean energy solutions.”

He said Cayman could become a “center of excellence” for renewable energy, creating jobs and business opportunities as the island goes through a transition from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars will have to be spent as we are building those solar farms. What I would like to see is that,  as people are adopting renewable technology on their homes and office buildings, that a lot of that knowledge and those financial resources stays in Cayman.”

Infrastructure Minister Kurt Tibbetts said Cayman could be a regional leader in renewable energy, both from a regulatory and a technical perspective. He said government’s new energy policy has set ambitious targets which will help the country transition from fossil fuels.

For information on registration and tickets, visit

James Whittaker, president of the Cayman Renewable Energy Association, and James Whittaker, the Compass journalist and writer of this story, are not the same person and are not related.

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  1. Many will view this article perhaps as interesting at best. However in reality this is exciting news for Cayman. The fact the our island has the opportunity to be a regional leader in the use of renewable energy is remarkable. Historically small nations such as ours generally are at the end of the line when it comes to adopting new technologies. Take the the communications industry for example. Cayman was one of the later western nations to fully offer telephone communications island wide. Cable TV and more recently high speed internet were also delivered late in the game. Cayman still does not have the latest in cellular service.

    Now through the leadership of CTEC and hopefully strong support by CIG we will be able to stand proud at the table of innovative leaders in worldwide reduction of reliance on fossil fuel. Given Cayman is in the heart of a building boom, it stands to reason that it is perfectly positioned to include not only solar and other alternative energy products in this new construction, but stronger, safer, healthier building products as well through the use of the latest building systems. Combined with islandwide enforcement of new and tougher building codes Cayman will save lives and property and keep our island residents safe from injury in the event of another hurricane such as Ivan.

    Recently I have been investigating the various products that can make a planned new home for my husband and I. The availability of those products right here on island is astounding. Given the life span of these products, their durability and ease of access, I do encourage everyone who is considering a new home, home improvements and home renovations to seriously consider alternative energy and sustainable building products while in the planning stages of your project. You will reap the benefit of your investment sooner than you can imagine.

  2. SO PLEASE READ THE THIRD PARAGRAPH .. the final line states that OTEC is being piloted in Grand Cayman. I call on the Government to confirm or deny the truth and accuracy of that statement. If true, it is evidence again of the secret working of our Government. Rewarding and enriching a few at the expense of the island. PLEASE …..will the government respond and confirm or deny the truth of that statement. Everyone on the North Side and anyone who cares about our Island needs to stand up and fight this environment killing fantasy. Why has no other site ever allowed this? If it seems to good to be true, IT always is……