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T&T to harness wind energy
Wind is the renewable energy source getting active consideration as Government moves toward lower carbon options for electricity generation. Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine said a Wind Resource Assessment Programme is soon to be launched across the country.
He made the announcement in his address at an IDB conference on Natural Gas in the Caribbean at the Hyatt Regency in Miami.
“Given that we in Trinidad and Tobago now generate 100 per cent of our electricity from natural gas it is expected that our next evolution would be towards a lower carbon option. That for us means wind resource and wind is abundant on our country’s east coast,” the minister said.
Ramnarine said a Carbon Reduction Strategy Task Force has been established under the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources to develop a draft National Carbon Education Strategy focused on the transportation, industrial and power generation sectors.
Earlier, the minister said imporrts of fuel oil or diesel for power generation had negatively affected current accounts, balance of payments and levels of debt across the Caribbean. He warned that if that “energy status quo” did not change, the region’s debt burden would get heavier.
“The high price of oil products leads to high energy costs in the region, which slows economic growth and hurts competitiveness. The high price of oil is not going to go away anytime soon,” he said.
According to Ramnarine, the current relationship between the Caribbean and energy was not sustainable and has “set in train a vicious cycle—oil consumption, increasing debt levels, impact on growth of loss of competitiveness.
He said the way forward was through collaboration and collective action.
“The region has to diversify itself away from liquid fuels and towards natural gas and where economically feasible renewable energy,” Ramnarine said.
He added that the region must, as soon as possible, make a significant conversion of installed power generation capacity to natural gas or renewable energy.