U.S. Department of Energy Lab conducts energy training workshop at UWI

Port of Spain July 8, 2015:  With a very low cost of energy, Trinidad and Tobago hasn’t always had the same incentives as some countries to aggressively pursue energy efficiency or renewable sources, but momentum is building.  The government has indicated energy will be a part of the national carbon reduction strategy while numerous private sector companies are able to save customers money by increasing their energy efficiency.

In furtherance of this national effort, engineers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development in the United States, conducted a four-day capacity building workshop at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine last month.

The objective of the NREL Energy Assessment training course was teaching attendees to conduct comprehensive energy assessments.  The course included presentations and hands-on training from NREL staff.  There were field trips to audit different building and renewable energy systems on the UWI campus that revealed significant lighting, plug load, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), and water conservation opportunities at the campus.

NREL Senior Engineer Otto VanGeet said, “the students who attended the training enthusiastically learned how to conduct energy audits and were all excited to put their newly learned knowledge into practice in Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Caribbean.”

The UWI training attendees included government, academics, and the private sector.  The workshop was made possible with joint support from the Inter-American Development Bank BRIDGE Project, and the Clean Energy Solutions Center – an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and delivered under the direction of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Arizona State University (ASU).