National energy policy not finished, says ministry

| 27/02/2011

(CNS): Despite recent comments by the minister for District Administration, Works, Lands & Agriculture that CUC’s move to buy power from customers who are generating green energy “dovetailed” with the government’s “national energy policy” the ministry has now confirmed that this policy has not yet been finished. In the wake of Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s comments that the new Feed-in Tariffs structure which will see people with solar panels or domestic wind-turbines able to receive 37 cents per kWh for the electricity they send back to the grid, CNS contacted the ministry for a copy of the policy so the public could see exactly what the policy is, but a spokesperson revealed the policy does not yet exist.

“The National Energy Policy is being drafted at this time. Cabinet appointed a committee, comprised of both the private and public sectors, and Chaired by Ministerial Counsel, Mr. Cline Glidden,” the ministry stated in an email.

O’Connor-Connolly who has ministerial responsibility for power said government wholeheartedly supported the FIT programme. “It dovetails into the National Energy Policy, as a means of encouraging consumers to reduce their utility bills while doing a small but important part in becoming more environmentally conscious,” she said following the announcement by CUC earlier this month.

Following agreement with the electricity regulator, CUC has revised its Consumer Owned Renewable Energy programme (CORE) and introduced a Feed-in Tariffs structure (FIT) which is expected to provide significant incentives to people generating energy from renewable sources and allow small scale solar systems or wind turbines to connect to CUC’s distribution system reducing their monthly power bills.

Despite indications by the minister that government is in support of greener energy, CUC was recently told by government it could not pursue a wind farm project in East End as government was prioritising the erection of a Doppler radar system at the same location. Last October government said in a statement that it was supporting the radar as a priority as it could risk losing the funding if it didn’t.

“Proposals have been received to establish a wind farm in the same area, however national and regional safety concerns make the choice for the Doppler equipment site inevitable.”

The ministry said the radar would give local weather service more accurate, real-time information serving the entire Caribbean and filling a gap in the recently implemented regional radar network coverage.

The ministry denied that by supporting the Doppler radar project unreservedly that it was therefore against alternative energy but that this was a vital project that had been in the works for almost a decade and had taken a long time to find funding. “Securing the necessary funding from the European Union took years of advocating….. If this opportunity is not utilised at this time, then there is every chance that the necessary funding will be withdrawn,” officials said.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    When the average middle class person starts getting $800 to $1,000 CUC bills this summer, oil is well above $100 a barrell now, we are going to have to turn of the radar and turn on the windmills.
    Frreeness is going to kill us,
    We need to get our re-newable power infasturture in place now, while we can still afford it. In three to five years time we will have no money because we have been blead dry sending all our money to buy oil.
    Let,s deaL with it before it becomes a crises please !!

  2. ConservationForEconomy says:

    When are we going to see government create significant import duty breaks as an incentive to move toward electric cars and alternative energy generation in preparation for the inevitable future price hikes on gasoline that we can expect when oil begins to run low (or even perceived to run low)?

    How ludicrous is it to even consider an oil refinery here, let alone just a few decades before oil is expected to run low???!!! Hellllooooooooo, anybody home? How about setting an example in fighting global warming instead of contributing to the rise in sea level that threatens our very existence 100 years from now?

    We need to have every possible incentive to creat e our own, oil independent electricity and ween ourselves from oil ASAP, before the anticipated collapse takes us down with it. Every roof, private, corporate and public should have solar panels ASAP.  Wind generators and sea based generators can take up the slack. It is going to take a lot of investment to begin with (and time), but the payoff later will be worth every penny when fuel prices skyrocket as oil declines until it eventually cannot even be obtained (Unobtainium). If we wait until we have already spent our money on enormously inflated fuel prices, we will have spent the very capital we need to invest in alternative energy. Remember the line for gas on the first day of availability after Ivan? That’s what it will be like every day when the pinch comes. I lived it in California during the mid 70’s and know exactly how it feels. Now is the time to begin, not as a knee jerk reaction when the prices and or availability of fuel have already become severely painful… and that eventuality is coming like an unstoppable countdown to doomsday.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The first two comments are well said.

  4. Shock and Awe says:

    "Our policy is not to release information on policies we don’t have."

    "Our policy we haven’t got is being studied by a committee."

    "On the completion of the study for the policy it will be forwarded to us for further study."

    "We will then view the report and make recommendations to an inhouse policy committee."

    "Once that is completed we will call an election."

    "After that it will be thrown out."

    "Does that answer your question?"

  5. Samuel Beatnik says:

    How in the name of heaven does someone with absolutely no knowledge or experience of these matters actually get to sit in a position of this magnitude? This is a scam and I am sure that the portfolios are divided according to anticipated loyalty XXXXX, because we as a nation are getting no benefit from these appointments. The whole structure of this government looks as though it has emerged from a children’s playground where the tough guys get all the perks. It is time to tear down this inefficient, XXX entity and build a new righteous government, one in which the people are served, the politicians are open and our children have a future. The fact that none of the politicians have stepped back to look at this is an indicator that they are in so deep, they cannot see beyond their noses.

    • Anonymous says:

      We need to lower our expectations and realise who we are dealing with. How can you get a policy when the captain of the particular ship does not know where the ship is sailing.

      Going to Barcelona should give us an idea

    • Anonymous says:

      No she does not have to have a clue about re-newable wind power, she will just pray to the lord and it will all work out……………..Lord help us.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a country where a stint in film school and a job in the family business gets you on the panel to pick judges.  Who needs qualifications?

  6. G.T. says:

    Although a doppler radar is the type of radar that is used in police speed guns to measure the speed of objects at a distance, I can’t see how government can say the use of having one for the weather is of more importance than allowing CUC to produce a wind farm that could lower the cost of utility bills on the island, and make life much easier for everybody else. In addition, what ever happened to another Utility Company competing with CUC? I say government needs to priorities and put the people first – not their own interest!

    • Anonymous says:

      Listen how I get my weather reports, the internet, and it’s free and pretty damm accurate, but no but let’s spend millions or dollars extra per year buying deisel because someone wants the weather information to be super accurate. GT we are surrounded by idiots??!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "The [weather radar] will serve the northern Caribbean, filling a hole in regional radar coverage, and will be linked to other radar stations in Belize, Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago."

      "In March 2009, the Cayman Islands Airport Authority and the European Commission signed a 4.16 million Euros contract providing Cayman with GRANT FUNDING to construct the early warning radar.",4750335&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


    • Green Turtle says:

      The Daily Mail?  Not the most credible place to find arguments on ecology.  You will be quoting Glenn Beck next.

      • Michael Rhoedent says:

        Did you read the article? Or did you just see “Daily Mail” and shoot from the hip?

  7. Anonymous says:

    JuJu says whatever CG (who really runs her Ministry) tells her to say, and as long as she gets to travel with her Executive Aide that’s OK by her. The people of Cayman Brac must be proud of such stellar representation.

    Did I hear someone say she was off to Alaska with Paul to look at some "emission-free" oil refineries?

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont be silly, no shopping malls in Alaska!
      Cold as well!
      Why do you elect this woman?

      • JK says:

        Mac was so good, he sold the Cayman Islands icycles from Alaska! After singing “Vote Straight”… trust me, they will elect her back in

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes they will vote her back in especially if we have another PALOMA.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ahh soon come….the incompetence of cig and the civil service never ends…..zzzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s hard to lay blame for this at the feet of the Civil Service.
      Policy is the domain of our elected representatives. Unfortunately, with this government it appears as if “policy” for anything revolves around “who benefits” with scant regard for country.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There’s nothing quite as satisfying as having a private sector initiative "dovetail" with a non-existent government policy.