Government is considering switching the majority of electricity production to the more efficient Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) in order to reduce the amount of natural gas used in the process, freeing it up to be sold or redistributed.
This would hopefully bring TGU’s contribution to the national grid up from 40 per cent to 80 per cent, Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte said yesterday at day two of the TT Energy Conference.
But this won’t necessarily reduce state electricity distributor TTEC—the company has “take or pay” contracts with the power generation suppliers—TGU and Powergen—and has to buy whatever they produce, regardless of use. And the country is undersubscribed for electricity—the demand is 1,200 megawatts, but supply is 1,900 megawatts.
Nevertheless, Le Hunte said there is still the opportunity to earn revenue from the gas that is saved through efficiency.
He also said, in agreement with commitment to the Paris Accord on Climate Change, the government is looking to generate ten per cent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2021. It expects that the primary collaborators for this will be the private sector, and the Ministry of Energy is looking for partners on projects that can generate a minimum of three megawatts.
“Renewable sources of energy are the way forward,” Le Hunte said, citing the vulnerability of the region in light of climate change. Another goal in keeping with the Paris Agreement is a 103-tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
He said government has completed its nationally determined contribution, which will serve as the roadmap for greenhouse gas reductions. It is currently with Cabinet and once it is approved, will soon be made into policy.
The estimated cost of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions is US$2 billion, met through a combination of domestic funding and international climate financing through the Green Climate Fund, Le Hunte said.