Hurricanes Irma & Maria passed over the Caribbean devastating many of the islands with winds in excess of 140 mph, heavy rain and extreme flooding. After the storms moved on, the islands were left to face the "apocalyptic devastation" without electricity.
Now, many of the region's renewable energy advocates will rightly begin calling for investment in renewable energy and distributed grids to avoid the same situation in the future. As well as looking for guidance from the newly established Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Barbados.
"The tragedy of Hurricane Irma can be a catalyst for government, utility leaders and people of affected countries to transform destruction into opportunity, an opportunity to build back better and cleaner through sustainable, resilient power and transportation systems," wrote analysts at the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Indeed, the opportunity for standalone solar and storage -- or hybrid liquefied natural gas (LNG) and diesel systems paired with PV and storage -- is getting more economically attractive. According to a new analysis of island markets from GTM Research & Wood Mackenzie, hybrid systems are cheaper than diesel, and nearing the cost of LNG.
Guyana Moving To Establish Regulatory Unit For Operating Drones
The Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, (GCAA) is moving to establish a regulatory unit for the operations of drones, across the country. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), are commonly used to capture pictures and videos – among other things - without the use of a human pilot aboard. The device is operated through the use of a ground-based controller.
Speaking at a press conference, Director General of the GCAA, Rtd Colonel Egbert Field disclosed that the Authority has commenced work to develop the unit. The Unit is expected to deal with the registration, approval and certification of persons, who own and operate drones in Guyana
At present, Field explained that the GCAA is working on building the manpower capability of the Unit. Colonel Field specified that the Authority has been working to secure inspectors for the Unit since the staff are integral to assist in monitoring the operations of all types of drones.
In addition, the GCAA Head noted that guidelines will be developed to manage the
operations of drones. "Any drone that comes into Guyana will have to be registered with us and therefore we will have to have guidelines for operators to have a clearer cut directive to follow as it relates to flying and operating drones within the local air space."
Colonel Field also noted, that efforts have been ongoing to secure finances for the Unit. At present, the establishment of the Drone Unit has been an integral part of Budget talks for next year.
Horace Clarke High And Bull Bay All-Age Win Jamaican SRC Science Competition
Horace Clarke High in St. Mary and Bull Bay All-Age Primary School in St. Thomas were victorious in the Scientific Research Council's (SRC) Improving Innovation Capacities in the Caribbean (INVOCAB) Science and Technology Innovation competition.
At the awards ceremony held at Bull Bay All-Age, the school was presented with the SRC trophy and a tablet. Principal Justin Duncan credited the victory to the hard work and determination of the students and staff.
He stated that the team spent long hours perfecting the solar water-heating device that won them the competition. "We did it as a team. Myself, the teachers and the students, we came up with the idea. I designed it and we walked through the steps to make the project work. It was not easy, but the students were committed to the task," he said.
Mr. Duncan was grateful that his school got the opportunity to participate in the competition, noting that what they have learnt "will certainly help the students in their examinations". He noted that the subject of science is important, because of its presence in everyday life.
Meanwhile, Horace Clarke High School, was presented with thier SRC trophy, won for their design of a waste-water and solid-waste management system. "It's an agronomic hybrid system used to address solid-waste management," explained Principal Christopher Walker.
"It also harvests rainwater. The device also helps in the making of fertilisers and methane gas," he added. Mr. Walker said that winning the competition has served as motivation for the students and teachers.
"It gives us something to brag about. We were struggling with the sciences, but we have seen some improvements in the teaching methodologies and the students' performance," he said.
Junior Expert for the INVOCAB Project, SRC, Yanique Wallace, told JIS News that the annual competition targets low-performing schools in the sciences in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). The objective is to engender innovation in science among students.