Central American sustainable energy experts endorse plans for the new Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the SICA countries (SICREEE)

Experts from SICA states discuss the technical and institutional design of the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
SAN JOSÉ (COSTA RICA), 23 February 2017 - The current Costa Rican presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA) hosted a regional workshop that validated the technical design and institutional set-up of the future SICA Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SICREEE).
The workshop was another step forward in the establishment of SICREEE, which will support the region’s transition to sustainable energy use. SICA is the economic and political organization of the Central American states: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
The two-day workshop was co-organized by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the General Secretariat of the SICA. During the workshop, the technical and institutional design of the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency was presented. To complete the proposal, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) provided the technical assistance needed. UNIDO has also conducted a consultation process that included a regional needs assessment and the development of the project document.
Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Management of Costa Rica, Irene Cañas, stated, "We need to have a regional institution that coordinates policy and project development as that will allow us to move towards a low-carbon economy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuel imports."
The workshop was attended by more than 60 Central American experts and specialists from the public and private sectors, who recommended that SICREEE focuses on policy implementation, capacity development, knowledge management, and awareness-raising, as well as on the creation of business opportunities for the local sustainable energy industry. The centre will play a key role in creating economies of scale, thus fostering a more competitive market in the sustainable energy sector and will allow the region to be less dependent on imported fossil fuel.
The workshop completed the preparatory phase of SICREEE. It was agreed that the final SICREEE project document will be submitted for consideration to the next Council of Energy Ministers of the SICA countries. Subsequent to its approval, the selection process of the host country for the Secretariat of the centre will begin.
Martin Lugmayr, UNIDO energy expert, noted, "We believe that the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres that we are creating represents an excellent way to simultaneously address different challenges, such as rural access to energy, energy security and climate change mitigation, in the countries of our counterparts. I would like to thank Austria and Spain for their successful cooperation and SG-SICA for being the pioneer in the region to promote this issue.”
When SICREEE is integrated into UNIDO’s Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres, south-south cooperation and post-2015 triangular cooperation will be promoted together with the other regional centers already operating in Africa, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, and other regions.
Source: www.unido.org