Saint Vincent (2012)

Degree of reliance on imported energy: 

<p>
SVG is heavily dependent on imported petroleum products for electricity generation, transportation, cooking, and other energy requirements. The country has no indigenous sources of oil, coal and natural gas. The transport sector is the biggest consumer of energy, accounting for more than 66% of total energy consumption; the domestic and commercial sectors account for 30% consumption from electricity generation. The rest of the energy matrix consists of kerosene and LPG consumption for residential cooking and some industrial activities.</p>
<p>
&nbsp;</p>

Main sources of Energy: 

<p>
Total installed electricity capacity (2009): 49 MW<br />
Diesel: 88.5%<br />
Hydro-electric: 11.5%</p>
<p>
On the main island, Saint Vincent, only 80% of the electricity is produced from diesel generation and the remaining 20% by small hydro generation.</p>

Country: 

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Extent of the network: 

<p>
St. Vincent and the Grenadines have 99% electrification. All islands except St Vincent depend entirely on diesel generation for their electricity supply. St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd. (VINLEC) operate diesel and small hydro power stations on St Vincent, while the Bequia, Union Island, Canouan and Mayreau islands are reliant on diesel powered systems. Other Grenadines islands are supplied by privately owned electricity systems based on diesel.</p>

Capacity concerns: 

<p>
Key issues include increasingly high costs for imported fuel and the option to use cost-efficient natural resources, such as hydro, wind, solar and geothermal energy.</p>
<p>
Further problems arise from the country-wide inexperience of using such resources, the partially inefficient generation of electricity with older diesel and hydropower schemes and the inefficient consumption of electricity.</p>
<p>
Among the SVG economy, the commercial sector has contributed the most to growth in demand since 2003. In 2008, commercial uses totalled approximately 47% of all electricity, and residential use was 45%. Electrical demand for the nation is expected to grow robustly by 6.9% annually, meaning that SVG must add new capacity by 2017.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Potential for Renewable Energy: 

<p>
The nation has some legacy hydropower capacity, and is working toward better utilizing this resource. Although SVG also has abundant geothermal, wind, and solar potential, very little RE has been exploited. Further, current law discourages both IPP&rsquo;s and self-generation, and fails to promote solar water heat adoption.</p>
<p>
<i><b>Hydroelectricity</b></i><br />
Only the island of St. Vincent has substantial rivers and rainfall for hydro power, where it has been utilized since the 1950s. While nameplate capacity is 5.6 MW, about 5.2 MW is actually available, and only 2 MW during the dry season.</p>
<p>
A 2009 feasibility study considered both rehabilitating older hydro plants and developing new sites along existing rivers. Commissioned by VINLEC and funded by CRETAF (a CREDP feasibility study fund), the study found several projects to be technically and economically feasible. The existing Richmond and South Rivers hydro plants could add output of 13% and 10%, respectively, over current production by replacement of electromechanical equipment at a cost of 8.5 million USD.</p>
<p>
On undeveloped rivers, previous studies by CREDP/GTZ have suggested potential of up to 10 MW on the Wallibou and Buccament rivers. Currently, the National Water Resource Management program is comprehensively assessing water resources for drinking, irrigation, and hydro power. The management program is supported by European Development Fund (EDF) in collaboration with the Central Water and Sewerage Authority and VINLEC. This effort has installed the measurement equipment needed to assess potential new sites.</p>
<p>
<i><b>Solar energy</b></i><br />
With GHI averaging over 5.8 kWh/m2/day, the low-lying parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines have good solar resources for flat-panel PV and solar hot water systems.</p>
<p>
<i><b>Wind energy</b></i><br />
There is considerable wind energy potential on the eastern side of St. Vincent and Bequia and on all of the smaller islands. Wind power has been utilized in the past for grinding of grains. With assistance from CREDP/GTZ, potential wind sites for small farms have been identified. Since September 2005, VINLEC records wind data at a site at Brighton. The measured mean wind speed of the first nine months is above 8 m/s in 10 m height indicating even higher wind speeds in 40 to 50 m, which is the average hub height of a standard wind turbine suitable for SVG. Another wind measurement tower started to operate at Ribishi Point close to the landfill site in March 2007, recording wind speeds and directions at 10m and 30m height.</p>
<p>
<i><b>Geothermal energy</b></i><br />
Geothermal resources have been considered on St. Vincent since a 1996 study by Idaho National Laboratory. Because no exploratory drilling has been done, potential estimates range from about 100 MWe per a 1999 government study to as much as 890 MWe per Huttrer.</p>
<p>
<i><b>Biomass energy</b></i><br />
SVG may have viable biomass resources. In the past, the government of SVG has discussed the possibility of cooperating with Guyana in a venture to raise, process, and market <i>jatropha curcas </i>(Barbados nut) as a biofuel. In 2009 GFA Envest GmbH and Caribbean Bio-Energy Technology Ltd. conducted a feasibility study on the use of <i>jatropha curcas</i>, banana trees, and municipal waste, among other sources, for biogas electricity production in SVG. The study concluded that while <i>jatropha curcas </i>are not of sufficient quality for biogas, other feedstocks may be, and there is potential for up to 4 MW from such a plant.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Potential for Energy Efficiency: 

<p>
VINLEC experienced system transmission and distribution losses of 8.7% during 2007 and 2008. The NEP calls for improving the efficiency of power production, transmission, and distribution. Additionally, although the EAP mentions that most of VINLEC&rsquo;s diesel generators are old and inefficient, it does not initiate any specific actions toward furthering this policy.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Ownership: 

<p>
<i><b>St. Vincent Electricity Services Limited</b></i> (<b><i>VINLEC</i></b>), established as the Public Electricity Service for Saint Vincent in 1931, is the state-owned utility company with an exclusive license to provide a public electricity supply to the islands of St. Vincent, Bequia, Canouan, Union Island, and Mayreau.<br />
&nbsp;<br />
Of the inhabited islands of the nation, only the private islands of Palm and Mustique have independent power production as part of their respective resorts.</p>

Structure / extent of competition: 

<p>
In the period immediately prior to Government&rsquo;s acquisition of the company in 1985, it was privately owned with the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) being the major shareholder. When the CDC decided to divest itself of utility shares it held in the region, the Government acquired the entire equity of the company.</p>
<p>
VINLEC is the sole, vertically-integrated provider in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The company has the exclusive license to provide the public with electricity until 2033, per the 1973 Electricity Supply Act. This Act also stipulates that VINLEC must issue a license to any other parties that wish to generate, transmit, and distribute electricity, including for both IPP&rsquo;s and self-&#173;generation. Of the inhabited islands of the nation, only the private islands of Palm and Mustique have independent power production as part of their respective resorts. In addition to maintaining the generating equipment, VINLEC is also responsible for maintaining the transmission and distribution systems.</p>

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

<p>
In 2009, a National Energy Policy was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The guiding principles upon which this policy was prepared include strengthening the national economy by reducing the dependence on import of fossil fuels, stabilizing and possibly reducing the energy consumption per capita in the medium and long term, and reducing the dependence on imported energy through continued and expanded exploitation of indigenous resources and improvement of energy efficiency and/or conservation of energy use.</p>
<p>
SVG approved an Energy Action Plan (EAP) in 2010. The EAP forecasts possible energy scenarios in SVG until 2030. It contains short (1-5 years), medium (5-10 years), and long- (10-20 years) term actions which are designed to implement the policies and goals of the National Energy Policy (NEP). These actions foster to energy conservation, energy efficiency, and diversification of energy source and energy use sectors, including goals such as delivering 30% of projected total electricity output from RES by 2015 and 60% by 2020, and reducing the projected electricity generation by 5% by 2015 and 15% by 2020, among others. The plan identifies sources of international expertise and funding for its projects.In 2009, a National Energy Policy was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The guiding principles upon which this policy was prepared include strengthening the national economy by reducing the dependence on import of fossil fuels, stabilizing and possibly reducing the energy consumption per capita in the medium and long term, and reducing the dependence on imported energy through continued and expanded exploitation of indigenous resources and improvement of energy efficiency and/or conservation of energy use.</p>
<p>
SVG approved an Energy Action Plan (EAP) in 2010. The EAP forecasts possible energy scenarios in SVG until 2030. It contains short (1-5 years), medium (5-10 years), and long- (10-20 years) term actions which are designed to implement the policies and goals of the National Energy Policy (NEP). These actions foster to energy conservation, energy efficiency, and diversification of energy source and energy use sectors, including goals such as delivering 30% of projected total electricity output from RES by 2015 and 60% by 2020, and reducing the projected electricity generation by 5% by 2015 and 15% by 2020, among others. The plan identifies sources of international expertise and funding for its projects.</p>

Current energy debates or legislation: 

<p>
NA</p>

Major energy studies: 

<p>
SVG is party to numerous agreements and a member of regional and international organizations. The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is a regional organization promoting collaboration on issues facing its members. The OECS developed the St. George&rsquo;s Declaration of Principles for Environmental Sustainability to act as guidance for environmental management and planning in the eastern Caribbean. As its member, SVG is obligated to develop renewable energy and promote energy conservation.</p>
<p>
In 2010, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines&mdash;using funding under the European Union&rsquo;s Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 2006&mdash;implemented a 10&#173;month energy efficiency study, aiming to identify areas for possible energy savings and implementing energy efficiency measures in 75 highest energy consuming government-&#173;owned buildings. As part of the project, the Energy Conservation Education and Awareness Programme was developed to raise awareness and promote energy-efficient behaviours among government employees in the workplace. Additionally, the SEP notes that a 2010 study of energy efficiency in government buildings (financed by the European Development Fund Special Framework of Assistance) includes a public awareness program in its scope.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Role of government: 

<p>
The <i><b>Prime Minister&rsquo;s Office</b></i> (<a href="http://www.gov.vc">www.gov.vc</a>) is currently the Ministry of Energy and has overall responsibilities for the energy sector in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.</p>
<p>
A <b><i>National Energy Committee</i></b>, comprising of stakeholders from other ministries and state-dependent institutions, presided over by the Office of the Prime Minister, was set up in 2006 to advise the Government on energy situations and policy, including drafting the National Energy Policy. The Energy Unit is mandated to implement energy policy, especially for the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency.</p>
<p>
The <i><b>Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing</b></i> manages the development and distribution of energy reserves in SVG.</p>

Government agencies in sustainable energy: 

<p>
In 2008, an <b><i>Energy Unit </i></b>was established in the Prime Minister&rsquo;s Office with a mandate to assist with the formulation and implementation of energy policy issues, particularly in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency.</p>
<p>
The <i><b>Ministry of Telecommunications, Science, Technology </b></i>and Industry is responsible for energy affairs in SVG, in particular for alternative energy sources and energy policy.</p>

Energy planning procedures: 

<p>
In 2010, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines with funding under the European Union&rsquo;s Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 2006 implemented a 10-month Energy Efficiency Study aiming at identifying possible energy savings and implementing energy efficiency measures in 75 highest energy consuming Government owned buildings, in addition as part of the project, an Energy Conservation Education and Awareness Programme has been developed to raise awareness and promote energy efficient behaviors among government employees in their workplace. In addition, the SEP notes that a 2010 study of energy efficiency in government buildings, financed by the European Development Fund Special Framework of Assistance, will also include a public awareness program in its scope.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Energy regulator Date of creation: 

<p>
No dedicated energy regulator exists in the country. The Ministry of Energy is a de facto regulator for the sector, being responsible, in part with VINLEC, for ensuring programmes created in the NEP come into force, including regulation for the electricity sector.</p>

Degree of independence: 

<p>
The Ministry of Energy is a governmental department. VINLEC is autonomous in operation.</p>

Regulatory framework for sustainable energy: 

<p>
The 1973 Electricity Supply Act (ESA) granted VINLEC a universal licence for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity in SVG until 2033.</p>
<p>
Under the ESA, other companies are also allowed to generate, transmit and distribute electricity, but only with VINLEC&rsquo;s permission or as VINLEC licensees, and then only with the approval of the relevant minister. Power generation for the owner&rsquo;s own use (auto-generation) also requires VINLEC approval.</p>
<p>
Although there is not much information on the use of tax rebates and other such incentives for RETs, the following are some examples.</p>
<ul>
<li>
Tax rebate to solar collectors, solar electricity-&#173;generating equipment (PV panels, converters, batteries), and other RETs equipment on a case-&#173;by-&#173;case basis.</li>
<li>
Case-&#173;by-&#173;case tax exemptions are given for PV panels, batteries, and inverters. There has been a very slow diffusion of PV on the islands.</li>
</ul>
<p>
Note also that an excise tax of 60% and a 15 % value added tax were introduced in May 2007 for incandescent light bulbs and only the 15% VAT was applicable for compact fluorescent lights. In June 2008, the excise tax was increased from 60% to 100% on incandescent light bulbs and the VAT remains at 15%; CFLs are completely exempted from both excise tax and VAT. Unfortunately, there is not sufficient data on the amount and frequency of the importing of light bulbs. The revenue generated by this tax also is unknown, as is where this money is invested. This highlights the critical need to establish proper data collection and monitoring systems to allow the government to evaluate the effectiveness of this policy instrument. Addressing the statistical needs is highly recommended to enable the Energy Unit to monitor the use of incandescent versus CFLs in the nation.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

Regulatory roles: 

<p>
Under the NEP, VINLEC is to produce a 10-year planning prospect for the electricity sector bi-annually, as well as conducting cost-of-service studies to produce fairer and more effective tariff structures.</p>

Role of government department in energy regulation: 

<p>
The Ministry of Energy is responsible for ensuring VINLEC&#39;s success in the NEP via relevant support, as well as the implementation of demand-side management programs, the creation of fuel-subsidies for the transport sector, and the creation of an energy efficiency market assessment.</p>

Regulatory barriers: 

<p>
Key issues include a lack of technical expertise and relatively weak institutional structures. The current situation is further defined by insufficient knowledge about the RES potentials, lack of financial support to RE as well as insufficient private sector participation and investment.</p>

References: 

<a href="http://www.ecpamericas.org/">http://www.ecpamericas.org/</a>. Energy Policy and Sector Analysis in the Caribbean (2010-2011). Available from <a href="http://www.ecpamericas.org/data/files/Initiatives/lccc_caribbean/LCCC_Re... [Accessed 28 July 2013]<br />
<br />
Erouscila P. Joseph, &quot;Geothermal energy potential in the Caribbean region&quot;, March 2008. Available at:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/sids/2008_roundtable/presentation/energy_j... [Accessed 29 July 2013]<br />