LEAP, Empowering Regional Energy Professionals with the Capacity to Transition the Caribbean to a Sustainable Future

As the global energy landscape undergoes a profound transformation, characterised primarily by a rapid growth of renewables, CARICOM member states continue to work assiduously to advance sustainable energy developments, mainstream renewable energy technologies, integrate electric vehicles into the transportation sector and transition traditional legacy systems to renewable energy systems.

In an effort to ensure the region is equipped with a cadre of green-collar professionals with cutting-edge technical expertise, the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC), in collaboration with the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), is implementing a series of sustainable energy human capital development interventions under the theme ‘Capacity Enhancement for Planning and Decision-Support Within the Energy Sector in CARICOM Countries’. This series of interventions are informed by the 2019 Rapid Scan Assessment (RSA) results, which exposed a gap in the technical capacity for energy system analysis in the region.

The training series officially kicked off on March 29th, with the globally recognised Low Emissions Analysis Platform (LEAP) training. Designed by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), LEAP is a powerful, versatile software system for integrated energy planning and climate change mitigation assessment and has been adopted by thousands of organisations in more than 190 countries worldwide. 

The eight-week LEAP training curriculum was curated in collaboration with regional energy professionals, the TAPSEC and CCREEE, to ensure alignment to the niche energy requirements of respective member states. The training will see participation from 140 regional energy professionals from electric utilities, regulatory agencies, government ministries, regional universities, and agencies responsible for sustainable energy planning.

The LEAP training, which the SEI is facilitating in partnership with Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI), will enable participants with the technical capacity to deploy science-based, data-driven methodologies and supplement tools when planning sustainable energy developments. The training is being implemented via three pathways (A, B and C), which will run consecutively during the 8-week training period. Track A provides general training for planning, management and decision-making, using arbitrary energy data to establish energy models. At the same time, Track B, equips participants with the capacity to operate and conduct basic LEAP modelling and analysis. Track C, an advanced training module, will cover software operation and provide participants with the expertise to drive innovative electricity dispatch modelling. This process uses optimisation methods to consider issues such as storage, high penetration of variable renewables and their seasonal/diurnal availability. 

Capacity Building Advisor with TAPSEC, Dr Niebert Blair, said that the training puts regional energy leaders in a better position to drive CARICOM’s sustainable energy future-forward. “The training will enhance energy development capabilities in the region so that more intelligent energy planning and decision-making can be achieved through the application of disparate energy supply and demand scenarios. LEAP helps to quickly generate multiple energy scenarios so that the outcomes can be compared. Hence, our energy professionals will be better equipped to charter an energy future that will be affordable, reliable, sustainable, utilising modern energy technologies.” she said. 

TAPSEC Programme Lead, Mr Simon Zellner, in highlighting the LEAP training’s transformative potential, reaffirmed TAPSEC’s commitment to supporting the enhancement of regional technical capacity as the Caribbean prioritises its sustainable energy transition. “Transformational change in the energy sector and its related economies requires solid long-term planning based on scientifically adequate modelling approaches. The LEAP provides a robust planning basis for the decarbonisation of the wider energy sector (demand side) and related long-term investments,” he said. 

The LEAP training is an intervention of the Information and Capacity Building component of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) funded Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC). The TAPSEC is implemented by the GIZ in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat and the Ministry of Energy and Mines in the Dominican Republic. 

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