Renewal is the way forward, the ministry said

Renewal is the way forward, the ministry said


(CNS): The Minister of Sustainability said the updated draft of the National Energy Policy makes it clear that renewable energy is the way forward for Cayman and that any use of alternative fuels is expected to be temporary and should not increase costs. of debts. The comments follow the revelation that CUC may use fossil fuels more than green energy for the next 25 years.

Despite the government’s goal that all of Cayman’s electricity be supplied from green sources within the next 27 years, the local energy supplier is still investing in both the modification of its existing engines and the necessary equipment to supply natural gas.

In response to questions from CNS, the minister’s spokesperson pointed to the Fuel Sector Strategy section of the revised draft. National Energy Policystating that the sector must, where proven useful and prudent, consider and encourage the introduction of alternative fuels in the mix of fuels used to generate electricity.

The NEP also states in this section that “to manage the costs of the transition to 100% renewable energy in the generation, the government will evaluate the best economic methods to achieve this objective in the policy and, where it is determined to be prudent and achieves the objective of balancing the environment and the interests of consumers, consider the use of alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) for power generation if doing so does not force consumers to pay for new fossil fuel infrastructure in the long term and the cost of renewable energy investments”.

The policy aims to balance input from business stakeholders with the interests of consumers and Cayman’s natural environment.

“Interim fuel is expected to be just that – a temporary measure,” a ministry spokesman said. “The updated draft of the National Energy Policy is clear that renewable energy is the way forward for the Cayman Islands and sets a new, proposed national target of 100% renewable energy by 2050.”

CUC told CNS last week that it is committed to reducing Cayman’s carbon footprint and wants to ensure that any changes made in this direction are made in a way that has a positive impact. The energy company maintains that introducing natural gas into Cayman’s energy mix before 2050 will be cheaper, despite supply chain fluctuations and prices. And regardless of the environmental concerns related to methane, the main component of natural gas, CUC believes that it will be better than continuing with diesel.

A spokesperson from CUC said the company “will work in all possible ways to do its part” to make the transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. However, it is not clear if CUC plans to introduce continuous battery maintenance, which will be required. in full transition to reform.

This summer, CUC produced six megawatts in rooftop solar systems, bringing the total installed capacity of rooftop solar to just 24MW. This, combined with the 5MW Solar Farm in Bodden Town, is all CUC says it can handle it to maintain grid stability until its initial battery supply is exhausted.

“Ours battery system is under way and is expected to be completed by early 2024, which will allow the addition of on-grid solar power to customers’ rooftops,” CUC said. The company and NEP “think that in this period of change, it will be useful to use the cleanest and cheapest fuel, and it has been determined that Natural Gas is that fuel”.

However, there are environmental concerns about natural gas due to the large amount of methane leaks associated with it during extraction and supply. And while burning gas to make electricity may be slightly better than diesel as it produces fewer carbon emissions, it’s still the third most carbon-intensive way to generate electricity, according to the Intergovernmental Panel. Climate change (IPCC).

Methane is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide and has driven more than a quarter of global warming so far. However, CUC said that with the modification of the engines for better performance and running on natural gas, it is taking “effective steps, increasing Grand Cayman’s greenness and reducing costs for our customers as soon as possible”.

Once the battery facility is complete, it will facilitate up to 20MW in total in addition to the 8MW from landfill to electricity and solar already in place. This means that a total capacity of about 60MW of power is in the pipeline from green energy, which only takes up about one-third of the power CUC can currently generate.

CUC has said it is committed to greater solar use, although it looks like it will take some time for this to continue. In 2019, OfReg announced that in order to provide large solar in Grand Cayman, there would be a competitive process.

“CUC has written and reviewed several different solar-scale design options that will meet the needs of Grand Cayman,” the company told CNS. “CUC is also looking at ways to save electricity at night using solar panels and is in line with the world’s best practices for large-scale solar deployment. The company is looking forward to the bidding process to be launched by OfReg for the opportunity to implement low-cost, large-scale, clean solar energy.”

CUC said the bidding process will allow it to openly detail the company’s renewable energy plans and “demonstrate to the public its commitment to providing affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly energy to the people of Grand Cayman”.


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