Regional Ministers of Energy, Regulators, Consumer Advocates and CEO’s of Electric Utilities meet at CARILEC/World Bank Regulatory Forum
Regional Ministers of Energy, regulators, consumer advocates and CEO’s of Electric Utilities will meet in Barbados on Monday, September 16, 2013 at Needham’s Point to discuss issues relating to the regulatory regime in the region.
There will also be presentations on the progress of the Saint Lucia/Grenada-led Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority (ECERA). At the end of this Forum, CARILEC, the association of electric utilities, suppliers, manufactures and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean hopes to ascertain from participants the relevant and pressing issues that should be placed on the agenda for two upcoming forums that would be scheduled for next year.
CARILEC has also organized a Renewable Energy Conference in Barbados on September 17 – 18, 2013, which seeks to explore deeper insights on alternative sources of power generation and grid integration.
Executive Director of CARILEC, Allison Jean observed that it was heartening that several countries in the region had already commenced implementation of various sources such as geothermal, solar photovoltaic, wind energy and hydropower. “The potential of the Caribbean in renewable energy is strong but we must be cognizant of the economic realities for each country.” Jean noted.
Our regulatory regime must also consider this reality and ensure that whatever conditions that are imposed must continue to foster economic sustainability and enhance energy security and reliability.”
Also emphasising the importance of a reliable electricity service at affordable prices to regional economies, the Executive Director said, “The electric utility industry is capital intensive with assets that have long lives. Lenders and investors are reassured when there is an independent and transparent regulatory environment.“
She noted that this was now more critical with the promotion of relatively new Renewable Energy Technologies (RET’s) and in many cases intermittent sources of renewable energy. “The transition must be managed carefully to ensure that the fundamental operation of the utility system is not compromised from both a technical and economic standpoint.”
CARILEC recognizes the benefits of changes in the power sector, in particular, changes
in regulatory framework, introduction of Independent Power Producers, new technologies, introduction of regulatory entities and increased penetration of renewable energy technologies.