Saint Lucia (2012)

Degree of reliance on imported energy: 

<p>
As in most other Caribbean states, power generation on St. Lucia is almost completely reliant on fossil fuels. Traditionally oil is sourced from the neighbouring country of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2007, commercial energy imported into Saint Lucia was estimated at 188.0 ktoe</p>

Main sources of Energy: 

<p>
Total installed electricity capacity (2010): 75 MW.<br />
<br />
Total primary energy supply (2006): 126.0 ktoe</p>

Country: 

Saint Lucia

Extent of the network: 

<p>
Recent years have seen massive expansion of the 11kV distribution network along the west coast and in the north, and preparations are also under way for the erection of a 66kV transmission line. In connection with the electrification of rural inland areas, the distribution network has been expanded and its carrying capacity increased at numerous points. St. Lucia enjoys a very high electrification level (approx. 98%).</p>

Capacity concerns: 

<p>
Saint Lucia is a net importer of fossil-based energy with the power and transport sectors relying completely on imported oil derivatives. All economic sectors have been affected by increasing oil prices in recent times, with negative impacts on the country&rsquo;s balance of trade. The effects of energy supply interruptions and oil price shocks on economic performance are therefore of major concern given the island&rsquo;s almost complete dependence on imported energy.<br />
<br />
The energy sector is dominated by the electricity and transportation sub-sectors, which are the largest users of energy.</p>

Potential for Renewable Energy: 

<p>
Preliminary studies are showing that the island possesses significant potential for the developments of solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy. Hydropower and waste to energy are also viable options that can be explored. Despite very considerable renewable energy potential, the only renewable resource that is even in marginal use is solar energy for heating water. The actual renewable energy potential of St. Lucia has not yet been fully quantified<br />
<br />
<b>Solar energy</b><br />
St. Lucia receives an almost constant supply of surface solar radiation throughout the year. This, in addition to a fairly high temperature which averages near 28&deg;C, provides an excellent environment for the use of solar energy. As a result, solar energy can be used for both electricity generation and heating. Solar water heating in particular holds much scope for use in both the domestic and hotel sectors. Solar PV potential is estimated at 36 MW of installed capacity, but bulk power development would not be economic based on current estimates.<br />
<br />
<b>Wind energy</b><br />
St. Lucia lies in the path of north-easterly trade wind belts. These reliable winds create a good wind regime for wind energy exploitation. The best wind sites can be found on the east coast and on the northern and southern tips of the island.<br />
<br />
<b>Geothermal energy</b><br />
Geothermal energy is a viable alternative for electricity generation due to the island&rsquo;s volcanic nature. Most of the volcanic activity on the island is concentrated in the south-west part in the town of Soufriere. The fumaroles at the Sulphur Springs are a manifestation of the location of geothermal potential. Geothermal energy could provide a significant and reliable energy source for the country, but it must be developed in a way that is compatible with surrounding land uses such as Piton Management Area World Heritage Site.<br />
<br />
<b>Hydropower</b><br />
Although most of St Lucia&rsquo;s rivers are quite small, there is some potential for mini hydro power applications, such as can be used in the agricultural industry. Preliminary research has also suggested that the Roseau dam could be used to produce electricity.<br />
<br />
<b>Biomass energy</b><br />
Charcoal has been used in St. Lucia for fuel but the practice is now declining. Sustainable management of trees for charcoal would have to be undertaken to support any continued use of charcoal. However plant and animal material can be used for energy. For example the waste from pigs can be used in biogas digesters.<br />
<br />
<b>Waste to energy</b><br />
Waste from the Deglos Sanitary landfill could be converted to an energy source. The capture of landfill gas, if undertaken, would not only produce a fuel source, but would also directly reduce the amount of methane gas escaping from the landfill into the atmosphere contributing to climate change.</p>

Potential for Energy Efficiency: 

<p>
The <i><b>Ministry of Physical Development and the Environment</b></i> with the technical assistance of PPA Consultants developed an Energy Efficiency Guide that provides easy and simple tips to reduce the energy consumption.<br />
<br />
This user-friendly guide was originally targeted for the commercial and hotel sector, given the useful content and easy information, it can be used by private households who are looking for the most effective way to save energy consumption and reduce global warming pollution.</p>

Ownership: 

<p>
Given the small size of the St. Lucian market, the utility companies lend themselves to natural monopolies.<b> LUCELEC</b> (<a href="http://www.lucelec.com">www.lucelec.com</a>) is the sole electricity provider on the island.<br />
<br />
The company operates power stations equipped with diesel generators. LUCELEC has an installed capacity of approximately 75 MW. Peak demand is approximately 54 MW.</p>

Structure / extent of competition: 

<p>
LUCELEC&rsquo;s exclusive license to supply electricity allows the company to be the sole provider till 2045. The company has a wide coverage: it supplies power to nearly all the commercial, industrial, and domestic establishments in Saint Lucia. Owing to the rising tariff to the customer, there have been pressures to deregulate the industry and end LUCELEC&rsquo;s monopoly. LUCELEC is a publicly held company with the biggest shareholder, Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) of the UK, holding 49% of the shares. The government, through the City Council and the National Insurance Corporation, owns 45% of the shares, and six percent of the shares were offered to the public in the early 1990s.</p>

Existence of an energy framework and programmes to promote sustainable energy: 

<p>
In June 2010, the Cabinet of Saint Lucia approved the official <i><b>National Energy Policy (NEP)</b></i>. The formulation of the NEP started in 2004 through the technical and financial support of the CREDP-GTZ and the OAS EU financed project CSEP in the latter stages.<br />
<br />
The NEP represents a collaboration of many stakeholders in Saint Lucia led by the Ministry of Physical Development and the Environment with input from LUCELEC and the public at large.<br />
<br />
Among other things, the policy provides for private participation in generation, encourages the establishment of small scale renewable energy systems and proposes the establishment of an Independent Regulatory Commission for the electricity sector. In addition, Saint Lucia&#39;s 1994 Electricity Supply Act is being updated.</p>

Current energy debates or legislation: 

<p>
The Government has announced specific measures to address energy security and increase public awareness of energy issues. In 2008, there were attempts to review incentives to investors in the tourism sector to boost the construction of hotels that are more energy efficient. Incentives would also be offered for retrofitting existing establishments. Similar measures were also considered for the manufacturing and commercial sectors.<br />
<br />
In addition to measures aimed at EE, the Government intended to utilize geothermal energy whilst maintaining the integrity of Pitons Management Area. Plans for the development of the potential of 200-300 kW hydropower at the John Compton dam were also disclosed.&nbsp; In the 2009-2010 Budget Address, the Prime Minister highlighted the assistance given to the local utility in the acquisition of land for the development of a wind farm. The Government also stated its intention to review the existing electricity supply legislation under the EU Special Framework for 2006.</p>

Major energy studies: 

<p>
St. Lucia has participated in a number of RE initiatives regionally.&nbsp; One of these is CREDP which aims at removing the barriers to RE in the region. CREDP has facilitated the development of the policy framework, built capacity for RE on the island and assisted specifically with wind energy development. A number of feasibility studies for potential RE developments have also been conducted under CREDP. Its second phase is ongoing and its scope has been expanded to include energy efficiency.<br />
<br />
St. Lucia is also involved in the Eastern Caribbean Geothermal Development Project (Geo-Caraibes) funded by the OAS. The project addresses the development of geothermal energy on the islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis. The Geo-Caraibes seeks to reduce the risk-costs linked to geothermal utilization and create the conditions for its commercial development in the region.<br />
<br />
The country is part of the Global Energy Island Initiative (GSEII), a consortium of international NGOs and multi-lateral institutions that supports small island states and potential donors by bringing RE and EE projects together. St. Lucia signed two Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) that indirectly support the development of RE.</p>

Role of government: 

<p>
The <i><b>Ministry of Physical Development, Environment and Housing</b></i> has the mission to foster sustainable improvement in the quality of life of all St. Lucians, through effective integrated planning, coordination, implementation and monitoring of physical/spatial, technological, economic, environmental, and social development activities.<br />
<br />
<i><b>Ministry of Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology.</b></i></p>

Government agencies in sustainable energy: 

<p>
The <b><i>Ministry of Physical Development Environment and Housing</i></b> (<a href="http://www.planning.gov.lc/">http://www.planning.gov.lc/</a>) is responsible for pursuing the aims of the National Energy Plan and the Sustainable Energy Plan, including more efficient management of the energy sector.</p>

Energy planning procedures: 

<p>
The Government has placed some incentives to boost the use of RE on the island. For example, RE technologies entering the island are exempt of certain duties. First- time buyers of solar water heaters are able to claim a rebate on their purchase.&nbsp; St. Lucia has developed a national climate change policy and adaptation strategy which also identifies energy related initiatives that can be undertaken.<br />
<br />
In 2004, the <i><b>Efficient Lighting for Saint Lucia Project</b></i> - a joint venture between the Government and the Climate Care Trust Limited- was implemented to provide compact fluorescent bulbs to lower income households, the hotel industry and Government buildings. The Climate Care Trust Limited provided approximately 5,000 CFLs to the Government. It was estimated that over 120,000 gallons of fuels were saved.<br />
<br />
A similar project is currently ongoing, where residents are encouraged to exchange their incandescent light bulbs for free compact fluorescent lamps. Lead by the Ministry of Communications, Works Transport and Public Utilities and with assistance from the Cuban Government, the project also focuses on efficient lighting and energy conservation in some Government buildings.</p>

Energy regulator Date of creation: 

<p>
Currently, decision-making with respect to the development of the electricity sector is fragmented. While the SDE Section has been assigned the task of sustainable energy planning, the Public Utilities Department is responsible for regulation of the sector. LUCELEC, to a great extent, functions autonomously, being primarily answerable to its shareholders, via a Board of Directors. LUCELEC was established in 1964.</p>

Degree of independence: 

<p>
The government of St. Lucia is a 45% stakeholder in LUCELEC. Financing for the company comes from its market operations. The Public Utilities Department and the SDE Section are government bodies.</p>

Regulatory framework for sustainable energy: 

<p>
According to the 1964 Power Supply Regulation, LUCELEC holds a universal licence for generating, transmitting, distributing and selling electricity until 2045. While the 1964 regulation was superseded by the 1994 Electricity Supply Act, LUCELEC&rsquo;s exclusive licence was preserved. Currently the Electricity Supply Act of 1994 is the main piece of legislation that governs the operations of the power sector on the island. The Act gives the local utility, the St. Lucia Electricity Company Limited (LUCELEC), exclusive rights to generate, transmit and distribute electricity on the island. Renewable energy may be more successfully introduced by IPPs.</p>

Regulatory roles: 

<p>
LUCELEC is largely responsible for setting tariffs and ensuring its own standards of service. The company also undertakes capacity-building measures for its employees in electricity generation and sustainable energy use.</p>

Role of government department in energy regulation: 

<p>
The Minister of Public Utilities can intervene at a policy level to regulate the actions of LUCELEC. Further, major policy decisions may be taken at the Cabinet or Prime-Ministerial level.</p>

Regulatory barriers: 

<p>
The Sustainable Energy Plan has not provided clear guidance as to exactly how the liberalization of the electricity sector should be undertaken, or a strategy for implementing renewable energy initiatives.</p>

References: 

Nexant, for the World Bank. Caribbean Regional Electricity Generation, Interconnection and Fuels Supply Strategy. Final Report March 2010. Available at: <a href="http://www.caricom.org/jsp/community_organs/energy_programme/electricity... [Accessed 19th September 2013]<br />
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Ministry of Physical Development and the Environment. Energy Efficiency Guidelines. Available at:&nbsp;<a href="http://dms.caribbeanclimate.bz/webinfo/dldocmeta.php?id=11">http://dms.c... 19th September 2013] [Project document unavailable]<br />
<br />
Ministry of Physical Development and the Environment.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.planning.gov.lc/">http://www.planning.gov.lc/</a>&nbsp;[Accessed 19th September 2013]<br />
<br />
Ministry of Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology.&nbsp;<a href="http://archive.stlucia.gov.lc/agencies/ministry_of_public_service_sustai... />
[Accessed 19th September 2013]<br />
<br />
LUCELEC. <a href="http://www.lucelec.com/">http://www.lucelec.com/</a>&nbsp;[Accessed 19th September 2013]<br />
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Government of Saint Lucia. National Energy Policy. January 2010. Available at:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.credp.org/Data/STL_NEP_Jan2010.pdf">http://www.credp.org/Data... [Accessed 19th September 2013]