Category Archives: renewable


Caribbean Transitional Energy Conference Announced

The Caribbean Transitionary Energy Conference (CTEC2017) was officially launched this morning with a press conference at The Cayman Islands Government building this morning.

Remarks were given by Hon. D. Kurt Tibbetts OBE, JP, MLA – Cayman Islands Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure, event organiser James Whittaker – CEO, GreenTech Group and President, Cayman Renewable Energy Association (CREA), and sponsor Pilar Bush, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Dart Enterprises Ltd. To Register and for more information Click Here
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New Energy Outlook 2015


By 2040, the world's power-generating capacity mix will have transformed: from today's system composed of two-thirds fossil fuels to one with 56% from zero-emission energy sources. Renewables will command just under 60% of the 9,786GW of new generating capacity installed over the next 25 years, and two-thirds of the $12.2 trillion of investment. • Economics – rather than policy – will increasingly drive the uptake of renewable technologies. All-in project costs for wind will come down by an average of 32% and solar 48% by 2040 due to steep experience curves and improved financing. Wind is already the cheapest form of new power generation capacity in Europe, Australia and Brazil and by 2026 it will be the least-cost option almost universally, with utility-scale PV likely to take that mantle by 2030.

• Over 54% of power capacity in OECD countries will be renewable energy capacity in 2040 – from a third in 2014. Developed countries are rapidly shifting from traditional centralised systems to more flexible and decentralised ones that are significantly less carbon-intensive. With about 882GW added over the next 25 years, small-scale PV will dominate both additions and installed capacity in the OECD, shifting the focus of the value chain to consumers and offering new opportunities for market share.

• In contrast, developing non-OECD countries will build 287GW a year to satisfy demand spurred by economic growth and rising electrification. This will require around $370bn of investment a year, or 80% of investment in power capacity worldwide. In total, developing countries will build nearly three times as much new capacity as developed nations, at 7,460GW – of which around half will be renewables. Coal and utility-scale PV will be neck and neck for additions as power-hungry countries use their low-cost domestic fossil-fuel reserves in the absence of strict pollution regulations.

• Solar will boom worldwide, accounting for 35% (3,429GW) of capacity additions and nearly a third ($3.7 trillion) of global investment, split evenly between small- and utility-scale installations: large-scale plants will increasingly out-compete wind, gas and coal in sunny locations, with a sustained boom post 2020 in developing countries, making it the number one sector in terms of capacity additions over the next 25 years.

• The real solar revolution will be on rooftops, driven by high residential and commercial power prices, and the availability of residential storage in some countries. Small-scale rooftop installations will reach socket parity in all major economies and provide a cheap substitute for diesel generation for those living outside the existing grid network in developing countries. By 2040, just under 13% of global generating capacity will be small-scale PV, though in some countries this share will be significantly higher.

• In industrialised economies, the link between economic growth and electricity consumption appears to be weakening. Power use fell with the financial crisis but has not bounced back strongly in the OECD as a whole, even as economic growth returned. This trend reflects an ongoing shift to services, consumers responding to high energy prices and improvements in energy efficiency. In OECD countries, power demand will be lower in 2040 than in 2014.

• The penetration of renewables will double to 46% of world electricity output by 2040 with variable renewable technologies such as wind and solar accounting for 30% of generation – up from 5% in 2014. As this penetration rises, countries will need to add flexible capacity that can help meet peak demand, as well as ramp up when solar comes off-line in the evening. More



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Civil Aviation Unveils Design For New Cayman Air Terminal

The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) has unveiled the interior conceptual drawings for the multi-million dollar expansion project at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA).

Commenting on the design created by Florida based firm RS&H Group, CIAA’s CEO Albert Anderson said, “The interior design is very impressive and I am confident that once completed the new expanded airport will be a first-class terminal facility

The CI$55 million expansion project should take around three years to complete and will nearly triple the current space at the airport. Construction on the first phase of the project is expected to begin this summer.

Here is the Cayman Islands Government's chance to save money and show their support for alternative energy. Covering the roof and parking lots with solar panels, and using LED lighting would set an example for Caymanians and Caymanian businesses to follow. Editor


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Renewable Islands: Settings For Success

Islands around the world are heavily reliant on costly oil imports from distant locations which can burden government budgets and inhibit investment in social and economic development.

Indigenous renewable energy resources such as hydropower, wind power, solar power, geothermal power, bioenergy and wave power can reduce these expensive imports and create important business and employment opportunities.

But how should islands go about attracting the investment to put these resources to use? The case studies in this short report are meant to show that a wide variety of islands in different locations and at different levels of development can all attract investment in cost-effective renewable energy resources through a mix of four key ingredients: » Political priority to attract investment

» Market framework for investment

» Technical planning for investment

» Capacity to implement investment

Political priority to attract investment in renewable energy on an island results from a realisation by its people, its utilities and its leaders that it is paying too much money for electricity and renewable power offers a way out. To be credible and have an impact, the political priority must be clearly articulated by ministers and embodied in legislation.

An effective market framework for investment must ensure that the electricity market is open to participation by all types and sizes of players who could profit by installing renewable power facilities. These include incumbent utilities, independent power producers, and building owners. Regulations should make it profitable for utilities to invest in cost-effective renewable power options. They should also make it possible for independent power producers to invest in such options – directly or through power purchase agreements with the utilities. And they should make it profitable for building owners to install photovoltaic power systems through net metering arrangements whereby the value of electricity they provide to the grid is credited to their electric bill.

Technical planning is needed to ensure that investment in renewable power options is consistent with the economic interests of the island and does not impair the reliability of service. Some sort of integrated resource planning should be done to ensure that an optimal mix of energy options is chosen for the island, to minimise costs within the constraints of preserving the environment, promoting public health, and serving other social objectives. And grid stability analysis is needed to ensure that the grid remains stable and service remains reliable as the share of variable renewable generation grows.

Finally, human capacity building is needed for successful incorporation of renewable power options on island power grids. A variety of skills are needed to plan, finance, manage, operate and maintain the power grid effectively, safely, reliably and economically.

Looking at islands in oceans around the world, this report shows how these four factors have combined to create successful settings for renewable power investment. Download PDF






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Utilities: Survival course for dinosaurs (advice from one of our own

Steve Klein recently served as a utility industry panelist at a conference where he introduced himself as a living, breathing dinosaur. It was not his intent to imply that he was really old, or not hip to the latest trends. Rather, he was making the point that this description was now being applied to electric power utility executives..

Citibank published a report titled “Energy Darwinism” that led industry analyst Jesse Berst to coin the prophetic phrase “Utilities are Dinosaurs Waiting to Die.” The original report argues that the utility industry’s dismissive attitude toward disruptive technological changes mirrors that of those who failed to recognize the game-changing impact of the Internet and cell phones. The report suggests that today’s electric power utilities could lose a substantial portion of their market to energy efficiency, solar, and other distributed generation technologies. Citibank further emphasized that history tells us such changes are never gradual.

Earlier this year, Marlene Motyka, an alternative energy advisor for Deloitte LLP, wrote an op-ed titled, “Why We Should Pity Utilities.” She highlighted the fact that utility “companies are caught in a vise: squeezed by simultaneously rising expenses combined with falling demand for electricity.”

Motyka was only addressing a portion of the vise. To complete the entire squeeze play, you also have to factor in legislative and regulatory pressure on utilities to fund large expansions of the nation’s transmission grid, as well as renewable portfolio standards, to ultimately promote large-scale commercial wind and solar development that likely will only add to the oversupply problem.

As I write this I am reminded of a clean tech venture capitalist who served with me on a panel that was charged with helping the previous governor of Washington establish a state energy strategy. Every time I made what I thought was an insightful comment from the utility perspective, he would whisper sarcastically to me, “Spoken like a true power company executive.” The electric utility industry is being accused today of resisting consumer demands by protecting its traditional business model in much the same way that Ma Bell sought to maintain control of its big black rotary telephone. Are we simply protectionists or dinosaurs that don’t want to adapt and accommodate technological advancement? Are we irrationally trying to preserve our version of the rotary phone?

I don’t want to be perceived like Ma Bell, but I do believe there are foundational elements of our industry that were put in place years ago and have served the nation and its citizens well. Unlike other parts of the world, everyone in America has access to safe, reliable, and affordable electricity at the flick of a switch. On the other hand, I would argue that we must adapt to the changing needs of our customers even if that means facilitating the application of new technologies that threaten our traditional business model.

I believe the best strategy going forward also happens to reflect my view of where we are heading as an industry. First of all, conservation and renewables are a legacy of the Pacific Northwest and should continue to be the first and foremost tools in our tool belt. As public utilities, we need to lead the way in making sure our communities are economically and ecologically sustainable through wise and efficient use of resources. Consumer-owned utilities do not exist merely to sell kilowatts and return generous cash dividends to detached shareholders; our dividends are evident through our unique values of local control, economic development, environmental and community stewardship, and overall quality of life. Public power utilities will have to become more creative to continue to be able to sustain strong conservation programs despite flat or declining energy load.

Utilities should also embrace the fact that a growing number of their customers want to avail themselves of distributed resources such as solar. We should develop community- based programs to educate and assist those who want to participate directly in supporting local renewable generating sources. Such programs can provide education and appropriate incentives as well as promote local economic development, similar to the many successful public power conservation efforts.

Rather than simply saying “no” to those in your community who look to the local utility for guidance, you should find ways to say “yes.” You can structure your program and rate design to address the potential revenue and nonparticipant impacts. I don’t expect distributed generation to grow as fast and have as large an impact in the Northwest as other parts of the country because of our comparatively low retail rates and underlying renewable resource base made up of non-carbon-emitting hydro. Resistance is not the best approach; it is better to work with customers, legislators, and regulators to meet this growing consumer interest. Our proactive stance will position us to better influence the solutions to adequately address reliability, safety, and economic impacts.

I see our role as power utilities changing over the ensuing years, but I also see certain fundamental aspects remaining unchanged in terms of utilities remaining mass market service providers. The grid system will become more and more complex, developing a multitude of interfaces with variable distributed generation as well as innovative service offerings and pricing schemes ranging from demand response to energy storage. This represents a challenging area upon which all electric utilities should be strategically focused. More buildings will become smart; they will have their own generating sources and energy management systems, and will be able to communicate on a real-time basis. The local distribution utility will still provide some level of central station generation, but it will be supplemented by local distributed generation as well as strategically sited utility- and customer-owned energy storage.

I think lots of people are interested in environmental sustainability and are willing to have a passively managed solar panel on their roof, but most consumers are not interested in becoming experts and committing the time necessary to effectively manage inverters, batteries, communications protocols, etc. That’s where the local utility comes in. We can provide a smart grid system that has the ability to balance and optimize all of the inputs and outputs to ensure that each customer has the energy they need when they need it.

We can no longer be satisfied with our form of Ma Bell’s black rotary dial phone, which is represented by an unsophisticated, one-way electric system highway. We cannot ignore the interests of our customers, who are demanding technological change and the provisioning of new services. With change comes opportunity, and I believe public power is well positioned to lead the way to the future utility service model, rather than going extinct like the brontosaurus and the black rotary telephone.

Steve Klein is the general manager of Snohomish County PUD in Everett, Wash. He can be contacted at More




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Renewable Energy To Boost Jobs

21 January 2014: The Renewable Energy Jobs Conference, organized by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), took place in connection with the World Future Energy Summit. The Conference discussed how the renewables sector has become a significant employer with potential for creating millions more jobs worldwide in coming years.

At the Conference, IRENA launched a report on job creation in the renewable energy sector, which indicates that wind power employment more than doubled over the past five years, and solar photovoltaic employment grew nearly 13 fold over the same period. In the report, titled 'Renewable Energy and Jobs,' IRENA explains it expects these growth trends to continue, and estimates that the 5.7 million people employed directly or indirectly by renewables in 2012 could nearly triple to 16.7 million by 2030. The report finds that while the bulk of renewables employment is concentrated in Brazil, China, the EU, India and the US, many other countries are also gaining ground. It notes that, with recent manufacturing price reductions, the employment landscape has also changed in recent years, with increases in installation, maintenance and repair employment opportunities rapidly outstripping jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Aside from its statistical analyses of the global jobs market for renewables, the report contains chapters on: renewable energy employment figures and trends; measuring employment from renewable energy; policy instruments in support of job creation in the renewable energy sector; renewable energy skills, occupations, education and training; job creation in the context of energy access; gender dimensions of renewable energy employment; and policy recommendations.

The conference on jobs, which took place on 21 January 2014, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), provided an opportunity for experts and policy makers to share knowledge, experiences and best practices on renewable energy job creation. In closing the Conference, Hugo Lucas, Director of IRENA's Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre, stressed the importance of more awareness, social support and active people to drive the renewable energy transition. More


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Saudi Arabia Unveils Plan to be Powered Entirely by Renewable Energy

Saudi Arabia recently revealed that it is planning to be powered 100% by renewable and low-carbon forms of energy.

One of the state’s main spokesmen, Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, said that he was hoping that Saudi Arabia would be powered completely by low-carbon energy within his lifetime. He made the groundbreaking statement during the Global Economic Symposium in Brazil. He did acknowledge, though, that it was likely to take longer, as he is already 67.

Realistically, the process would take at least a few decades, and that’s if the country is serious about it. There have been some observers expressing skepticism about the purpose of the announcement, suggesting it may just be greenwashing.

The Saudi prince expressed that the country was most definitely moving forward with investment renewables, nuclear power, and other undefined alternatives to fossil fuels. Noting that their vast oil reserves would still be in demand for their use as plastics and polymers.

“Oil is more precious for us underground than as a fuel source,” he said. “If we can get to the point where we can replace fossil fuels and use oil to produce other products that are useful, that would be very good for the world. I wish that may be in my lifetime, but I don’t think it will be.”

Joss Garman, political director of Greenpeace, said: “It speaks volumes that a Saudi prince can see the benefits of switching to clean energy sources when [UK chancellor] George Osborne seemingly cannot, but Saudi Arabia will only truly be a green economy when it leaves its fossil fuels in the ground.”

Currently, Saudi Arabia’s energy is provided nearly completely by burning fossil fuels, nearly two-thirds from oil and the rest from natural gas. It produces around 12 million barrels of oil every day. That’s more than 12% of the entire world’s production, and the country has at least 1/5 of the world’s proven oil reserves, according to the US government’s Energy Information Administration. And because of how artificially-low oil prices are kept within the kingdom, the per capita energy use there is quite high. More


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Small islands push for new energy

Most islands are well endowed with one or more renewable energy source — rivers, waterfalls, wind, sunshine, biomass, wave power, geothermal deposits — yet virtually all remain heavily or entirely reliant on imported fossil fuels to produce electricity and power transport.

With rising oil prices, fuel import bills now represent up to 20 percent of annual imports of 34 of the 38 small island developing states (SIDS), between 5 percent to 20 percent of their Gross Domestic Product — and even up to 15 percent of the total import bills of many of the European Union’s 286 islands.

Action advocated under “The Malta Communiqué On Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake For Islands” adopted by a 50-nation two-day conference that ended here last week will hopefully slash, in some cases eliminate, reliance on fossil fuels and related pollution, while increasing energy security, employment as well as economic and social wellbeing.

“The Renewables and Islands Global Summit” in Malta was co-hosted by the 100-nation International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) based in Abu Dhabi and by the government of Malta — a 316 sq km Mediterranean island republic of 410,000 inhabitants, and EU’s smallest member state.

The Malta Communiqué On Accelerating Renewable Energy Uptake For Islands will hopefully help slash or eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, while increasing energy security, employment as well as economic and social wellbeing.

The meeting represents a key milestone in IRENA’s initiative on renewables and islands launched by its governing council last January, as well as a follow-up to the Rio+20 conference in June and the “Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States” ministerial meeting in Barbados in May.

The communiqué invites IRENA to establish a global renewable energy islands network (GREIN) as a platform for sharing knowledge, best practice, challenges and lessons learnt while seeking innovative solutions.

GREIN will also help assess country potential, build capacity, formulate business cases for renewables deployment involving the private sector and civil society while identifying available finance as well as new ideas for innovative financing mechanisms.

In addition, the network will develop methodologies for integrating renewables into sustainable tourism, water management, transport, and other industries and services.

IRENA’s Kenyan director-general Adnan Amin told the 120 delegates that “we have confirmed the enormous potential for renewables in small island developing states as well as for developed island countries, not to mention coastal countries with remote, energy-deprived islands of their own. Ambitious policy targets appear increasingly attainable because of great strides forward in technology and cost-effectiveness.

“We are laying the groundwork for a business council to bring investors — from major energy companies to innovative SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) and also financial institutions — into the discussion,” Amin added. “Academics and NGOs can also contribute to the search for practical solutions. Developed island states can do much by sharing their experience with small-island developing states that face broadly similar challenges.”

Representatives (including 15 ministers) from 26 developing Pacific, Caribbean and African developing island nations and from coastal developing states with islands reported a wide range of renewables deployment, from detailed long-term plans and ongoing activities to reach up to 100 percent renewables, to admissions of very low deployment and no firm goals or plans yet. More


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