National Press Club

PM: Grenada primed for new era as sustainable nation

April 14, 2014 | By Marie Robey Wood

Grenada Prime Minister Keith C. Mitchell signs agreement with Carbon War Rooms at the National Press Club, April 11, 2014.

Grenada Prime Minister Keith C. Mitchell signs agreement with Carbon War Rooms at the National Press Club, April 11, 2014.

Photo/Image: Noel St. John

Grenada, an island national in the south Caribbean Sea, wants to boost its use of solar power and other renewable energy to end a costly electricity monopoly and launch the country on a path to sustainable development, Prime Minister Keith C. Mitchell said Friday at a National Press Club Newsmaker.

Mitchell opened the event by signing an agreement with Carbon War Rooms, an international non-profit and think tank that is developing market-based solutions to halt climate change.

Mitchell, elected prime minister in 2013, spent last week in Washington meeting with International Monetary Fund officials and others to seek debt relief and support for Grenada's economic restructuring.

Energy is a key issue for Grenada. One Miami-based company has held a monopoly on the country's electricity for 72 years, Mitchell said.

“They charge so much that businesses can't compete … and many consumers in the country have to stop their electricity,” he said.

“Grenada has the opportunity to pursue cheaper renewable energy whether solar, wind and geothermal," Mitchell said. "We hope by 2030 we'll have 50% of the energy reproduced by renewable energy."

The country also seeks to take advantage of its coast and marine resources, and build on its healthcare economy and its medical school at St. George's University by developing a medical center for medical tourism, Mitchell said.

Mitchell recently convened a meeting of all the Caribbean information technology ministers to find places where islands can cooperate to develop information and communication technology.

“We see the challenge of climate change and dealing with that issue is absolutely crucial," he said. We believe that because of the country we have and our environment and opportunities, we can have an agriculture which is green, a tourism sector which is green, an economy as a whole which is green.”