Over the years, technology has revolutionised our world and everyday life. Modern technology has paved the way for feature-rich devices like smartwatches and smartphones, and computers are becoming faster, more portable, and more powerful than ever before.
Technology also stimulates the economic growth of countries. For example, Japan is the unanimous winner when we talk about technology in general. Similarly, the US dominates the software world, while China, Taiwan, and the countries of South Asia are the world's centers of device manufacturing.
What about the Caribbean? Nowhere in Latin America is technological development more relevant than in the Caribbean, with a dynamic economy made up of various islands offering diverse opportunities that also face political, infrastructural, and natural challenges for economic growth. The Caribbean also offers an opportunity for thought leadership and a platform for technology experimentation due to its size and potential.
Today, the Caribbean economy is almost entirely dependent on diesel fuel, natural gas and liquified propane gas (LPG). Renewable energy plays a minor role, although conditions in the region are ideal for this.
Solar energy is perhaps the most promising as a future source of energy. The Caribbean has excellent solar resources, allowing solar photovoltaic installations to generate electricity at
the same or cheaper prices than conventional power plants. In addition, solar photovoltaic technology is ideal for small islands in the Caribbean.
The technology can be installed in small units, or on the rooftops, in combination with conventional generator sets for round-the-clock power supply. This reduces the cost of electricity generation and dependence on imported fuel.
When looking at the Caribbean water technologies, for example, British Virgin Islands have desalination plants. These are factories have been designed to use a method called reverse osmosis (RO). Naturally, during osmosis, liquid flows through a membrane from fresh water to salt water; however, with the help of pressurisation, this process is reversed to turn the salt water into fresh water. Reverse osmosis uses less energy than other forms of desalination and has a lower environmental impact.
So, as you can see, these are just a few of the Caribbean technologies that play a key role in the development of the service industry, job creation and economic growth, especially in key segments of the economy.