Does the U.S. Have a Good Caribbean Energy Strategy?
Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched its five-year Caribbean Energy Initiative, aimed at developing energy sector resilience across the region. How have Caribbean nations benefited from the initiative over the past year, and have countries’ power sectors become more resilient as a result? In what ways has the plan changed the geopolitical landscape in the Caribbean, particularly with regard to energy? What factors are incentivizing the United States and its private sector to invest in the Caribbean’s energy sector, and is their role in the region likely to grow in coming years?
Georges Fauriol, senior associate in the Americas Program at CSIS: “The Caribbean Energy Initiative is part of a wider set of U.S. attempts to define its strategic engagement in the Americas. There lies part of the challenge. Several layers of policy initiatives have emerged from Washington under the current and preceding administrations referencing the energy sector, creating a mosaic of overlapping objectives, bureaucratic processes, competing constituency lobbying, uncertain budget support and somewhat confusing policy messaging to potential beneficiaries in the region. This includes Caribbean 2020 (whose six priorities include energy), which combined with the CEI emphasizes the notion of ‘resiliency.’ There is also the Obama-era Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI), emphasizing the notions of energy sector governance and clean technologies investments. These and other efforts are also shaped by broader policy frameworks encompassing a geographically wider Caribbean Basin region, which over time has generated…”Read More
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