Planning and Development Minister Pennelope Beckles-Robinson says wind energy is a promising solution to meet TT's growing energy demands by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
She was speaking at the presentation of the May 2023 report – Setting the path for wind energy generation in Trinidad and Tobago – on Wednesday at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain. The report is a collaborative effort between the Energy Chamber of TT, the Government and the European Union (EU).
Beckles-Robinson said, “The vast potential of winds in our offshore areas offer a unique opportunity to target clean and virtually limitless source of power. However, to fully adopt this potential, we must undertake our accurate wind resource assessments.”
According to the report, approximately 2.75 gigawatts of onshore wind power and 32 gigawatts offshore wind power is expected to be available by 2035. This can contribute towards lowering the country’s dependence on fossil fuel and accelerate reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions beyond the levels committed in the intended nationally determined contribution (iNDC).
Based on the report, the west coast, Orange Field area and the south-east coast, Galeota, are recommended for starting the onshore wind measurement campaign programme. Similarly, Galeota and the Tobago south-east coast, Crown Point, are recommended for starting the offshore measurements.
EU Ambassador to TT Peter Cavendish said, “If we want to leave a safe and sustainable planet to the next generation, the choice must be renewable energy. The path to wind energy generation is long and challenging and therefore a judicious approach recommends starting small-scale, setting ambitious targets and moving fast. There is no time to waste.”
Through the Planning and Development Ministry, the government has partnered with EU on the flagship Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+) initiative.
Speaking on renewable energy initiatives, Energy Chamber of TT CEO Thackwray Driver said, “We have recently seen great progress in solar electricity generation with the start of construction of the biggest solar plant in the Caribbean. There are other small scale solar projects also in construction, including the EU funded project at the airport. However, the reality is that grid scale solar in TT is constrained by land availability. This bring us to the topic of today of onshore and offshore wind power generation.”
At present, there are a number of ongoing renewable energy projects being undertaken through public-private partnership in the Caribbean and the wider region. This includes projects such as the solar park in Jamaica and the Tilawind windpark in Costa Rica which have linkages to TT companies.