Premier unveils energy policy at eleventh hour

| 19/03/2013

_DEW3957-web (232x300).jpg(CNS): Just nine weeks ahead of the general election, the premier has become the latest Cabinet minister to launch an eleventh hour policy document. Following the launch of last minute education and health polices, after four years in office Juliana O’Connor Connolly has finally unveiled a National Energy Policy (NEP), a document promised by her ministry at the beginning of the UDP administration. According to O’Connor-Connolly, the policy defines and directs the local energy sector and sets out goals, objectives and policies. The priority is to decrease energy costs, increase environmental sustainability and security, as well as develop the local energy industry.

Presenting the policy in the Legislative Assembly last week, the premier revealed statistical targets, which include making 21 percent energy savings, 13.5 percent of electricity sold generated from renewable sources, and a 19 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a business as usual scenario. She said the vision for the NEP was to have an efficient, diversified energy sector, supported by informed public behaviour within the Cayman Islands, which provides secure, reliable, and affordable energy in an environmentally sustainable manner.

“Decreasing energy costs to the country as a whole should be pursued as the priority goal, given very high costs and prices of energy in the Cayman Islands,” the premier told her legislative colleagues. “The priority granted to decreasing energy costs to the country as a whole has three important implications.”

O’Connor-Connolly said government would pursue new energy technologies that help reduce costs as soon as they become viable and could benefit the country. “Prioritizing certain technologies that are viable today shall not mean discarding once and for all other technologies that are not yet viable," she stated.

She made it clear that cost would still outweigh environmental considerations and said that where a sustainable energy policy could increase energy security, environmental sustainability and economic development but increased energy costs to the country, government will only pursue it if local economic benefits exceeded the economic costs.

“That is, provided that the government is convinced that the policy may lead to net economic benefits for the country as a whole,” the premier added.

The policy also calls for local rather than global green considerations to be prioritized and government will prioritize the increase in local environmental sustainability over global environmental sustainability.

The objectives of the NEP shall be dynamic, she said, to allow for appropriate flexibility in policy making, prioritizing technologies that are feasible and commercially viable rather than stating which type of technology the country will pursue.  The premier said the electricity sector in Cayman must develop according to principles of economic efficiency, high quality and reliability of service, safety and environmental protection.

“The government recognizes that renewable sources of energy may represent an economically viable way for the Cayman Islands to reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels, while preserving the environment of the country and contributing to reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases,” she stated, adding that government also recognizes that the generation and consumption of electricity, including that related to water and wastewater, represents a significant and unrealized potential to save energy, money, imported fuels, and local as well as global emissions.

The full policy document is posted below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wanna be King Canutes rushing to suspend the laws of physics in their quest for lower energy costs and increased efficiency.

    They are the leaders of the 'free lunch" crowd whose mantra is they are somehow always losing out to profiteering by private businesses.

    So send in the government and watch efficiency get destroyed and prices go through the roof.

    Why is it that some people can never be satisfied? Cayman has benefitted greatly by being served by the best electrical utility in the Caribbean. Why not just leave it alone?



    • Anonymous says:

      King Canute only asked the sea not to soak him because he knew it would.  It was part of his strategy of emphasising his commitment to christianity by showing that the king was not above god. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps she could start an implementation process by walking further than the snack machine thus setting a standard for not using our money to drive her around, not encouraging obesity by exercising and losing the excess weight wich sends a poor signal to our youth and also shows going green….a bit cynical on my part but seriously when we speak of energy waste every sitting member of the LA is taking up oxygen and energy and for some weird reason they get fatter and fatter the longer they are in office as to the loss of wind farm to Doppler that was just another example of poor policy. I think we can all figure out if it is raining and the wind is blowing by sticking our heads out the door and I will trust good old fashioned multi-generational fishermen and others to tell me what type of storm is brewing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tendering 12 MW of renewables or so is simply a smokescreen. It will never happen.

    Imagine a windy day and the wind drops? There is no way that CUC would maintain spinning reserve for free to benefit this arrangement.

    The same is true of large scale solar implementation with grid tie-in. Better to have your own panels and batteries. CUC would hate that. It means they would get zilch.

    There are several people in Cayman who have already ignored the naysayers and gone ahead with their own standalone systems. They may have paid a lot, but they'll be the ones with light in the event of problems and then the cost arguments won't mean much.

    By the way, did anyone see the bad news about Suntech from China (solar panels) going bankrupt?

    Apparently, they were battered by plummeting prices and we can't afford them. WTF?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tell me someting blood, with a house in C Brac and a house in Grand Cayman, does Juju live in a hotel while here in Grand Cayman as well as when she goes to the Brac?


    We need to see exactly what payments are being made to each and every MLA and the reasons given for each payment to see if they are necessary or justified.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You are quite correct in that Castalia Strategic Partners were hired to produce the report. Their initial mandate was to compile the four subcommittee reports into a single document and provide supporting arguments. HOWEVER…they went beyond that mandate and actually changed what the subcommittee’s presented. Please see “Energy Policy #1” in the attached article as a prime example. This Policy was added without the knowledge or approval of the appropriate subcommittee and its intent isquite obvious, protect the interests of the local utility. Its ads new tariffs, gives the utility the prerogative to limit renewable energy in the islands and the limits suggested are grossly less than those agreed upon by the subcommittee. While the entire Legislative Assembly voted unanimously to support Net Metering, this section practically forbids its implementation. One can only wonder (not) how this section came to be included in the National Energy Policy but anyone who may be interested in researching Castalia Strategic Partners and their relationship with “Carilec” might be interested in what they find. The policy was presented to government in a manner such that they would believe the proposed policies were reached by a consensus of members sitting on all of the subcommittees when in fact it was not. The process in the end was hijacked by self interested parties.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great. Another policy that doesn't follow the law that it purports to be made under (i.e. the ERA Law) because i have read the one they have online and that doesnt indicate that government has any ability to make such a policy. Worse yet is that it comes at the end of the administration that campaigned to fix the mess that the PPM made with the "CUC deal". Obviously this policy won't bind any successive administration and might not even be of any use to the ERA Board of Directors. What a waste of time and money. Truly the hallmark of this administration, in both of its "altered states".

    • Anonymous says:

      Indeed 08.39.

      This is just soundbite stuff.. trying to look good .The technology is available, windfarms are everywhere especially in very pollution sensitive Scandinavia and the US, solar panels are there too big time. So any nonsense mutterered here about pollution, lack of technology etc etc is just a precept for protecting revenues in CUC. There is no interest in "improving" anything. It costs three time more here to cool a 2 bed  house in January than it does to heat the same house in Scandinavia or UK. Go figure, huh?

      I feel sorry for low paid people here, how the hell they can afford it, I do not know. The answer is probably they cannot.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree that the availability of ultra-low sulphur diesel should be mandated so we can make use  of the extremely effficient European diesels that happily do 60-70 miles per gallon. Wind energy towers would be  out of scale with Cayman and have negative consequences for wildlife and noise generation.  They'll be visible from anywhere on the island. Not a good idea. Just my two cents.

  8. Anonymous says:

    WOW… How stupid do these people think we are. The first action of the UDP administration did was putting the Doppler station in East End which halted the work CUC had done on a wind farm. Stop blowing smoke..please Cayman let’s vote these people out come May.

    • Anonymous says:

      And not to forget, that was also under Julie Ministry with K Gomez at the time.


      Now comes the cry from her for an energy (saving) policy at this late hour – what a f%#$ing joke!

    • Just Curious says:

      Is the Doppler Actually there?

    • Rorschach says:

      How stupid do these people think we are

      Actually, they are hoping and praying that you are very, very stupid..that way you won't see how stupid THEIR ideas are…

  9. Anonymous says:

    The document takes 23 pages to describe what could be explained in 2. This is pathetic and represents a load of empty pre-election promises that will NEVER be brought to fruition. Oh, so cynical? Yes, just like all the other pre-election promises. And where are we now?

    2 more strikes and you are out.

  10. Anonymous says:

    lazy and incomptetent

  11. Anonymous says:

    So looking at the metadata on the Policy, it looks like we hired a third party (Castalia Strategic Advisors) to produce this document.  

    I do notice that a lot of the policy is a bunch of ideas many of which are "big country projects" trying to be shoe-horned into a small nation.   For instance do Park-and-Ride centers reallymake sense in a country this size?  Do we really have enough scale to justify electronic rechargeable tickets for public transit?  Do we want large developments to build large parking garages?  Is adding bike lanes to existing roads even feasible? (nice idea – but how many of our roads would it really work on given current restrictions on space?)  Other ideas are pretty high cost – for instance fixing the ground water system, etc

    Seems this is more or a public discussion document from which a targetted policy can be made.  Its a good starting point, but the filters of cost, applicability, and realism  need to be placed on it.

    Finally as part of the policy they want to encourage "walking as an alternative mode of transportation"….so I'm guessing the consultants didn't really spend much time down here in the heat…. 🙂


    • Anonymous says:

      ……. and even more hilarious……. how do you suppose the Premier intends to asess costs toward a "19% reduction in greenhouse gasses"?     The only way I can figure this could work for us is to have a verbal limit in Legislative Assembly — which would cut down on personal CO2 emissions.  


      What next?  Cayman Carbon Credits?  

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is a great UDP document that was established under Mr. Bush in 2009. Is it a copyright infringement if the Cut Thoat Five are using this document??????

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, this work was solely under Julianna's purview, but it took forever and a day for them to finish it. And yet I see nothing so groundbreaking within that would justify such a drawn-out process… I appreciate the slight movement towards more sustainable energy sources, as well as recognizing other energy-related factors of society (transportation, water usage), but let's face it – they're taking baby steps that could have been much more forward thinking given the timeframe they had to work out this policy.

      • Anonymous says:

        I suppose international shopping trips and the paving of voters' drives kept getting in the way of real work.

    • Anonymous says:

      I just love that name.

  13. Baldric says:

    "Premier unveils energy policyat eleventh hour"

    Needs to be sooner that dat … it's dark by 6:30

    • Cayman. Concern GT Voter says:

      Hey, where is that daylight savings time that big Mac promised us?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, you see while it is a simple idea that would greatly help both the tourist industry and the financial service sector, it is not the way we do things here, and since it would maybe interfere with a few old guys' fishing we are not moving it forward.

  14. Anonymous says:

    NOW it's a priority?? After all these years when she was too busy travelling and paving her friends driveways to even draft a policy paper? The cynicism is astonishing.


    If it's such a priority why'd they appoint someone with a track record of incompetence and questionable behaviour to head the ERA?

    • Anonymous says:

      How can she talk about being green when she already covered up so many sand yards and church grounds on the Brac with asphalt.  Before she utters another word about "being green" she should go up and personally scoop up all the wasted  non-green assphalt.

      • Anonymous says:

        Couldn't agree more.  Bring back the sand, Juliana.  Let Florida have the asphalt.

        • Anonymous says:

          The cut throat five as was called in the other post should be happy now that Mack is charged. But ya all know what he is still a popular and much loved man through out cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not only that, but her and Rollie are driven around is gas-guzzlers everyday – they should be in Altos, or better yet, not being driven at all

        • Anonymous says:

          It is a shame how some of our futters as the West Bay slang word is can be so lucky to be chauferred. With the few dollars that some of us earn we can hardly buy gasfor our little cheap cars. I am still waiting for the candidate who campaigns on reducing the politicians pay, as that will be the one that I vote for or at least campaign for.