The DIREKT team at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, collaborated earlier this year with members of the International Network on Energy and Environmental Sustainability (INEES) to facilitate an international workshop entitled “Geothermal Energy Workshop”. This was held at the university in the Department of Physics from 17th to 19th January 2011.
There were contributions from UWI’s Cave Hill Campus (DIREKT partner), the University of Flensburg, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, University of Auckland, and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (INEES members). DIREKT and INEES were jointly responsible for the ﬁ rst two days of the workshop, while INEES held its own activities on the third day.
The head table at the opening ceremony of the Geothermal Energy Workshop. From left to right: Prof. Ramsey Saunders (Head, Department of Physics, UWI), The Honourable Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan (Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs), Prof. Clement Sankat (Principal, UWI), Mr. Stefan Schlüter (Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany), Mr. Theoneste Uhorakeye (representative of University of Flensburg), and Prof. Dyer Narinesingh (Dean, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, UWI).
The opening ceremony was chaired by Dr. Indra Haraksingh, who was instrumental in the organization and success of the workshop. The picture shows other key presenters at the ceremony. In his address, the German ambassador promised that the German embassy will continue to support activities aimed at building capacity in renewable energy. The Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs highlighted the government’s recently developed programme of promoting renewable energy in the country, including the exemption of import duties and valueadded tax (VAT) on renewable energy technology and equipment as speciﬁ ed in the Financial Act No. 13 of 2010 that came into effect on 1 January 2011. She invited investors and researchers to take advantage of these new opportu-nities to expand their businesses and research.
The main objective of the workshop was to increase the capacity of university staff and research students in the ﬁ eld of renewable energy, with an emphasis on geothermal energy. The DIREKT project’s component focused on general renewable energy and some geothermal energy, while INEES took a more in-depth look into geothermal energy.
There were local, regional and international participants and presenters, including graduate students, university staff, government ofﬁcials and persons from public and private institutions. Topics ranged from general renewable energy options and applications within the country and the wider Caribbean region, as well as international examples, government incentives for promoting renewable energy and energy efﬁ ciency, ﬁ nancing renewable energy projects, climate change, geothermal energy in the Caribbean, and international case studies on geothermal energy. Approximately 38 persons attended the workshop over the course of the 2 days in which DIREKT was involved.
The Principal of UWI, St. Augustine held a reception for all participants and presenters at his ofﬁ ce on the evening of the ﬁ rst day of the workshop. The ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany also held a reception at his house on the evening of the second day for the participants and presenters. Both events were warmly received and greatly appreciated by all who attended.