From left: Island Resilience Partnership Executive Director Matt Tranchin; GridMarket Head of Business Development Peter Schneider; GridMarket CEO Nick Davies; Deputy Prime Minister/ ECYS Minister Wycliffe Smith, TEATT Minister Stuart Johnson; VROMI Minister Christopher Wever; Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever; and Foreign Relations senior policy advisor Patrice Gumbs Jr. shortly after the presentation to the Council of Ministers.
PHILIPSBURG–GridMarket and Island Resiliency Partnership recently made a presentation to the Council of Ministers (COM) about their work in helping small islands in energy transformation towards building resiliency.
Island Resiliency is a Dallas-based public-private partnership designed to support communities on the front lines of climate change by accelerating their transition toward renewable energy and resilient infrastructure, it was stated in a press release on Friday. This comes at no cost to governments and island stakeholders.
Gridmarket is a New York-based company and partner of the Island Resiliency Partnership that leverages its network of donors to accelerate this transition.
Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations head Angelique Gumbs and Department of Foreign Relations senior policy advisor Patrice Gumbs Jr, met representatives of Island Resiliency Partnership in the margins of the United Nations (UN) organised review of the SAMOA Pathway, a set of strategies for inclusive development, in Apia, Samoa, in October 2018.
This was followed by a mission led by Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever on behalf of the Prime Minister, under whose mandate development and recovery lie, to Earth X in Dallas, Texas, in April 2019. Earth X is an international non-profit environmental forum whose purpose is to educate and inspire people to action towards a more sustainable future.
During the meeting, the minister made presentations on St. Maarten’s energy and development trajectory and its efforts towards building resiliency, post-Hurricane Irma.
GridMarket and Island Resiliency Partnership are currently working with Palau and Samoa on their respective energy programmes and concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Samoa in the margins of Earth X.
The St. Maarten delegation invited GridMarket and Island Resiliency Partnership to the island on a mission to meet with key stakeholders and to make a presentation to government.
During their mission, the team met with utilities company GEBE, Bureau Telecommunications Post (BTP), St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry, St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and various government departments, including the Department for Education Innovation; Department of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI.
The two entities are seeking an MOU with government that will allow them to begin gathering the necessary data to make the most adequate proposals to government. Their proposals are made using factors including climate and weather, energy cost, energy use, local laws, subsidy programmes and physical characteristics of sites.
During their presentation, the team was able to present to the Council of Ministers, real-time data on the energy use patterns of critical infrastructure using the medical centre as an example.
Utilising GridMarket’s databased platform, Island Resiliency Platform is able to help governments and island stakeholders achieve energy goals, measure their progress, and demonstrate how and to what extent they have made an impact. The aim is to do this through a transition to clean, distributed and affordable energy systems.
Discussions during the mission touched on past efforts of government towards renewable energy including wind and solar, as well as efforts in the area of waste-to-energy.
The Council of Ministers underscored the need to take advantage of opportunities to improve the living conditions, including the significant cost of energy, for the people of St. Maarten. Discussions on future partnership and the proposed MOU will continue.
Should government approve the proposal, Gridmarket will offer the project to its network of international donors and investors for financing.
If successful, this initiative would address a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including #7 affordable and clean energy; #9 industry, innovation and infrastructure; #11 sustainable cities and communities; #13 climate action; and #17 partnerships for the goals.