The Future of Renewable Energy in the Cayman Islands

By Howard Rhodes

 SEP 11, 2023

The Ministry of Sustainability has emphasized that renewable energy is the way forward for the Cayman Islands. The draft revised National Energy Policy (NEP) sets a target of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050. However, despite this goal, the local power supplier, Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC), is investing in the conversion of existing engines and the introduction of natural gas as a transitional fuel.

According to the NEP, the use of transitional fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG), may be considered if it proves to be economically advantageous and does not impede the development of renewable energy infrastructure. The government aims to manage the transition to renewable energy in a way that balances environmental and consumer interests.

The ministry spokesperson reiterated that transitional fuels are intended as an interim measure and that renewable energy is the preferred long-term solution. The introduction of natural gas is expected to be cost-effective, and CUC believes it is a better option than diesel.

CUC has made progress in the transition to renewable energy, including the release of six megawatts for rooftop solar programs and the development of a 5MW Solar Farm in Bodden Town. The company plans to complete a battery storage facility in early 2024, which will allow for increased solar energy usage. The total capacity of green energy in the pipeline is around 60MW, which is only a third of the power currently generated by CUC.

Despite the advantages of natural gas, there are concerns regarding methane leakage during extraction and supply. Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas, contributing significantly to global warming. However, CUC assures that steps are being taken to improve efficiency and reduce costs for customers.

CUC is also committed to large-scale utility solar projects. The bid process initiated by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) will allow CUC to present its plans for low-cost, environmentally friendly energy. The company is eager to demonstrate its commitment to finding reliable and affordable solutions for the people of Grand Cayman.

Overall, the draft revised NEP highlights the government’s commitment to renewable energy. While transitional fuels like natural gas may be utilized in the short term, the ultimate goal remains the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources by 2050.

– Ministry of Sustainability, Cayman Islands
– Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC)
– Utilities Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg)


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