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Trinidad and Tobago

Official Name:
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Energy profile

Trinidad and Tobago (2012)

Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

Household electrification in the country is over 97%. Two 33kV submarine cables link the islands' electricity networks.

Renewable energy potential

Development and use of renewable energy sources are still in their embryonic stages in Trinidad and Tobago. Although, it has been acknowledged that some of the more commercial areas of renewable energy, which are applicable to the Caribbean region in general and to Trinidad and Tobago in particular, are solar energy – thermal and photovoltaic, wind, wave, and to a lesser extent, biomass.Solar energyWith an average global horizontal irradiance of 5.5-6.0 kWh/m2/day, Trinidad and Tobago are well suited for application of solar technologies, both thermal and photovoltaic. Possible applications include solar crop drying and use in water heating, as well as for electricity generation.Wind energyGovernment officials have recently stated the nation's interest in exploiting the potential wind resource of the island. Mean annual wind speeds over the country are not as high as some of the country's Caribbean neighbours, but are still serviceable.HydropowerNo study has been conducted as to the traditional hydro-electric potential of the country, although wave power has been proposed as a source of energy for the islands.Biomass energyThe Government is currently investigating the use of biomass energy as a potential source of electricity, however, applications are said to be limited due to the scarceness of agricultural land and water in the country.Geothermal energyWhilst the country's oil industry is indirectly involved with geothermal energy through its assistance to the Kittitian/Nevisean geothermal market, development of potential geothermal sources in the country has been ruled out by the Government.

Energy framework

The energy policies of T&T focus on seven areas as shown in the website of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs:Local content: promotion of local content and local participation,Renewable energy: development and utilization of renewable energy resources, including solar photovoltaic and thermal energy, wind energy, wave energy and bio-fuels (biomass, biogas, biodiesel  and bio-ethanol),Infrastructural development: development of major energy-based infrastructure nergy- nol), –  ew. 1,344 MW); facilities,electricity: conversion from gas turbine and steam  plants to combined cycle generation of electricity,regional and international initiatives: regional and international relations and cooperation initiatives regarding energy security, pricing, purchasing and transportation,fiscal regime: fiscal regime to promote energy-based investment,LNG: pursuit of new LNG opportunities targeted at the domestic market.With the election of a new government in May 2010, the new authorities have indicated the need to move forward in the reform for a sustainable and cleaner energy matrix that will stimulate the development of RE (such as wind, waste to energy, solar water heaters and photovoltaic (PV) systems), EE and efficient use of fossil fuels as the core elements to maintain long-term sustainability, and as a consequence of the latter, contribute to reducing Green House Gas emissions (GHG).A climate change policy has been drafted and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) is currently conducting public consultations to inform the drafting of an Energy Policy for the country. Elements of the draft energy policy include strategies for carbon reduction and strategies for introducing renewable energy. Plans for implementing mitigation and adaptation strategies to deal with the effects of climate change have been integrated into national planning; recognizing the fact that climate change affects all sectors of the economy and, if not addressed, can retard steps towards future development.In the report ‘‘A New Policy for Energy, 2011–2015’’ energy efficiency, conservation and management initiatives are given central roles within renewable energy, NG utilization and pricing, and carbon reduction strategies. In the preface of a report of the Energy Research and Planning Division for the renewable energy policy for T&T, it is stated that ‘‘Local energy demand for this finite resource [NG] is on the increase, making conservation paramount. This could be reasonably addressed by utilization of RE resources, increasing EE, decreasing energy demand and the use of alternative fuels in the transportation sector.’’ The report concludes with the statement ‘‘Noteworthy however, is that practical solutions for improving energy efficiency are essential to complement renewable energy programmes’’. 

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