Trinidad and Tobago is one of the least energy-efficient economies in the world and has one of the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions rates. The introduction of renewable energy, improving energy efficiency and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions have become policy issues on the government’s agenda and are usually included in statements from the current Minister of Energy and Energy Industries and other senior politicians and government officials. However, they often seem to be presented as additional policy issues for consideration, rather than issues at the core of overall energy policy.
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The inability of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries to decide on a certification system for energy service companies (ESCO) is a major barrier to efforts to increase energy efficiency in Trinidad and Tobago, according to Christopher Narine-Thomas, Chairman of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Committee of the Energy Chamber.
Point Lisas Industrial Estate and Tamana Intech Park could potentially be locations for the first solar panel manufacturing plants in Trinidad and Tobago. Marcia Maynard, Manager Energy Industry Development, National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. (National Energy) revealed their plans for the plants while presenting at last month’s Clean Energy Conference hosted by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago.
In December 2015, the landmark Paris climate agreement was agreed to by 195 nations around the world. The agreement signals the global resolve to reduce CO2 emissions and to curb the rate of global warming. To date, out of 197 countries that have signed onto the Paris agreement, 153 (78%) have already ratified the agreement and put it into force in their own country, committing themselves to a self-determined plan to reduce CO2 emissions. Trinidad and Tobago is among the minority (22%) of countries which have not ratified the agreement.
There are no technical barriers preventing the use of Renewables in Trinidad and Tobago. This from Acting General Manager from T&TEC Courtenay Mark during the panel discussion on Achieving 10% renewables by 2021 during the Green Energy Day at the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference. Meeting the target however is predicated on several changes on the regulatory and pricing side, which therefore throws the ball in the court of the regulators.
The Paris climate pledges submitted through the system of Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) action plans aim for global decarbonisation. The Trinidad & Tobago pledge includes the concept of a Caribbean Carbon Market (CCM) hosted by the Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago. The market plan has been vetted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and was showcased at its 2015 summit in New York City.
Port of Spain, Trinidad, and Tobago is one of three cities in the Americas chosen to implement a Western Hemisphere Affairs-funded ECPA energy efficiency project. Under the project, the cities will work to lower energy consumption in municipal buildings through the development and implementation of sound energy efficiency policies over a three-year period. The other cities in the project are Goiania Brazil and Valdivia/Los Rios, Chile.