Energy Minister Stuart Young has admitted that the pace of the transition away from fossil fuels, like oil and gas, to renewable energy like wind, solar and hydro electric had made this country vulnerable, but did not catch it flat footed.
While addressing a panel discussion on global energy transition at day one of the T&T Energy conference, the Minister admitted that the energy landscape had changed quicker than anticipated but Trinidad and Tobago he said will be able to adapt.
“There is a global call for cleaner energy and a reduction in the carbon footprint at a much faster pace than may have been envisaged five to ten years ago. In this transition there will be triumphs and casualties. As an oil and gas economy, Trinidad and Tobago is vulnerable, but we are not flat footed. We have to act now,” Young told the panel during his speech.
“We are confident that Trinidad and Tobago is well positioned and poised to manoeuvre to ensure the continuation and growth of the sector for decades to come,” he assured.
He insisted that T&T is making the right steps to pivot towards cleaner energy.
The Minister said numerous deals had been negotiated within the energy sector to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago remained viable, however he acknowledged that given the Paris agreement, greater focus was needed on the production of cleaner energy.
Young said the shift did not mean ‘our industry, which is currently heavily oil and gas based, would lose relevance’.
“There is a lot of opportunity here in Trinidad and Tobago as the plants in the gas sector can be transformed with the right investments to ensure cleaner and lower carbon energy. We will continue to work with the various downstreamers as there are also exciting opportunities in ammonia, methanol and other commodities,” said Young who pointed to the continued promotion of CNG in this country as well as recent investments to produce cleaner energy within the industry.
“CNG has been actively promoted as it produces fewer harmful emissions than gasoline. In the power generation sector we have started the transition to green energy with the planned introduction of new capacity from solar energy and there are plans to utilize excess power in the system to produce hydrogen from electrolysis,” he said.
“This is in addition to incentives provided for the adoption of solar energy by households and enterprises.“ Young said. —PETER CHRISTOPHER