Resource Wealth – May 2016

Resource Wealth – May 2016

The Caribbean is a place where folks from around the world go to enjoy spectacular beaches and stunning island views. But what’s the energy market like for such a resource rich place?

Emera Energy Inc., which is the parent company to Emera Caribbean, owns major stakes in the Caribbean Energy Market. Over the past 5 years, Emera has acquired majority interest and is the parent company of both Barbados Light & Power Company Limited and Grand Bahama Power Company. Emera also has a large stake in Dominica Electricity Services Ltd. (DOMLEC), and St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (LUCELEC) in St. Lucia.

Utility Service Trucks, Barbados.
Utility Service Trucks, Barbados.

But does the Caribbean really need long-term energy investments from foreign stakeholders? YES! There has been some traction towards renewable energy in the Caribbean, but still too slow in my opinion. Of course, projects need time to be completed, money /budget and to be able to overcome one major challenge. The NIMBY/not in my backyard syndrome ! What the industry really needs is government funding as a priority over the next 10 years.

What the industry really needs is government funding as a priority over the next 10 years. From my experience, there is not a strong culture of emissions monitoring and air cleanliness in the region. This for two reasons: constant moderate ocean breezes where smoke and pollution is carried away by the wind, and secondly, many of the governments has not formally mandated that current levels of Green House emissions be reduced.

I can tell you one thing! The region has  resources in need of development, such as tidal energy, solar energy and of course, wind energy. A more robust and diverse energy mix is needed, as most of the economies are based heavily on crude.