Trinidad & Tobago is too vested in oil and gas to fully focus on renewable energy. Barbados is miles ahead with solar power in the Caribbean, and thankfully so! The island of Grenada, however, is the new up and comer for renewable energy, and is currently making progress towards renewable energy efficiency
Grenada is truly a recent success story in development. Hurricane Ivan devastated the island in 2004, leaving a trail of physical and financial destruction that could have been permanently detrimental to such a tiny island nation-state. All of the island’s government debt was deemed unsustainable, with total damage cost at US$1 billion. Agricultural and service industries were destroyed. The government embarked on financial and industry restructuring. Roughly $200 million dollars in aid was sent to help with the rebuild. Today, the island has restructured debt, and has diversified industries and services to achieve a GDP growth rate of 3% as of 2015, with a GDP per capital of approximately US$13,000.00 to a population of 107,000.
Grenada is almost 100% dependent on fossil fuel for energy/electricity generation, with almost 20%% of GDP going towards fossil fuel imports. The Grenadian Department of Energy and Sustainable Development has set renewable energy goals as follows:
Currently, Grenada has an eletrification rate of 99.5%, which is excellent, as almost the entire island has access to generated electricity. Commercial activities have the largest consumption rate at approximately 50%. Electricity generated by renewable energy stands at 1.4%, a combination of solar and wind powered resources. Solar energy is the main focus of renewable energy on the island.
Grenada Electricity Services Limited (GRENLEC) is responsible for all electricity generation on the island, fossil fuel and renewable. GRENLEC is 50% owned by US private investors WRB Enterprises and 50% public sector. GRENLEC currently has a Renewable Energy (RE) Interconnection Programme which allows its customers to generate their own electricity using solar panels, and sell excess to GRENLEC. While GRENLEC reports that renewable energy customers comprise 1% of total electricity demand AT 352.97 KW of capacity, the consistency of demand can be deemed as progress. Roughly 40% of the island is in the urban capital of St. Georges, and much renewable activity takes place centered around St. Georges University. Thus, a macro approach can be taken for commercial renewable, and a micro approach for residential and rural areas.
CARICOM currently has a regional renewable energy regulatory body in development. On the national level, the government of Grenada has the following policy frameworks:
According to the NREL, GRENLEC plans to spend US$150 million on renewable energy projects in Grenada, centering on solar and wind clean tech. However, there are policy barriers cited, such as the government’s slow process in updating the Electricity Supply Act with renewable energy distribution stipulations.
GRENLEC. “Customer Renewable Energy (RE) Interconnection Programme.” http://grenlec.com/YourEnergy/RenewableEnergy.aspx
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “Energy Snapshot: Grenada.” https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/62699.pdf
Submitted as a deliverable assignment to HAW HAMBURG's Sustainable Energy for SIDS (policy-maker edition) course.