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Saturday 19 October 2019
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Ramnarine expects renewable energy in budget

Kevin Ramnarine
Kevin Ramnarine

Considering reports about BPTT/Shell’s bid for a contract for a utility scale renewable energy project, a former energy minister said in the UK the company has been moving towards more renewable energy projects.

Kevin Ramnarine told Sunday Newsday: “In the UK, BP has been investing in renewable energy projects. It is no surprise they would be interested in renewable energy in countries outside of the UK. It does not come as a surprise they want to go in that direction in TT. They probably see the potential for it here.”

Referring to the Paris Agreement on climate change, Ramnarine said he is also looking forward to hearing about renewable energies in the budget tomorrow. One way of achieving this goal is net metering, he said. This is where people can install panels on their roofs, for example, and sell the excess power to TT Electricity Commission (TTEC).

“We have to amend the TTEC and Regulated Industries Commissions laws to make net metering a possibility. This is something that is being done throughout the world. I expect to hear a bit more from the Government because it has set some targets for renewable energy by 2021.”

The country, he said, must move towards renewable energy as it is the way the world is going.

“It is cleaner, and we have an abundance of wind energy and solar energy here in TT. Right now, all our generating capacity comes from natural gas. So, the next step logically to make would be in renewable energy, whether wind or solar.”

He recalled that TT made a commitment at the Paris Climate Conference 21st Conference of the Parties, also known as COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We committed that we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector, the power generation sector and in the transportation sector by 20 per cent by 2030. I see the decade coming as a decade in which we affect a massive economic transformation in TT.”

Renewable energy would certainly be a big part of that by 2030, and TT should achieve the target made to the Paris Accord. Ramnarine said he cannot comment on the procurement process because he does not know what the issues are.

A BPTT/ Shell consortium is believed to be the preferred bidder for the utility scale renewable energy project and one of the 11 bidders has raised questions about the alleged selection.

It is believed that Finance Minister Colm Imbert would announce the project during his presentation of the 2019-2020 budget in the House of Representatives.

Yesterday an official from one of the companies bidding for the project said: “We have heard nothing new. I am hoping for the best. We do not know what is going on.”

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