Montserrat: Energy Task Force Report Approved by Cabinet | Loop Caribbean News

A report from the Energy Task Force, outlining key recommendations for the development of the Montserrat Renewable Energy Resource, has been completed and approved by Cabinet.

The Energy Task Force was commissioned by the Department of Communications, Works, Labor and Energy (MCWLE) in 2020 to come up with the best way to harness the vast indigenous renewable energy resources of the Isle.

Comprised of public and private sector actors, the task force was tasked with recommending solutions to overcome economic, technical, regulatory and other potential barriers to rapid and rapid development of local renewable energy resources.

MCWLE Minister Dr Samuel Joseph said: “Montserrat’s future depends heavily on its ability to compete in a globalized market. Our energy security and independence are crucial to achieving this goal. Once we pave the way to implement clean and sustainable energy, we believe the country’s economy will improve and we as a people can enjoy a better standard of living.

Our government has made energy a priority; therefore, the formulation of the energy task force was a strategy deployed to help achieve our strategic objectives.

Kenrick Burke, director of energy for the Department of Communications, Works, Labor and Energy

The working group began its work in late May 2020 and met eight times, both virtually and in person, through early February 2021. The working group benefited from presentations and information presented on the wind power, distributed power, the Renewable Energy Assessment Matrix, Hatch Consulting IRP and an alternative Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

The Energy Task Force report offers an in-depth examination of opportunities and barriers to the development of solar, wind, hydroelectric, tidal (ocean) energy, geothermal resources and the potential implications of inaction.

“Montserrat must choose between two energy futures. Currently, imported fossil fuels provide 99.4% of Montserrat’s energy needs.

Choosing a business as usual route, which would maintain and even exacerbate our dependence, exposes us to enormous risk of oil and gas price swings and shocks, possible supply disruptions and rising levels of greenhouse gases. Alternatively, the country can dive deep into securing its energy future by investing heavily in renewable energy,” the report states.

Task Force Chairman and Director of Energy for the Government of Montserrat, Kenrick Burke said, “We believe a more prudent choice for Montserrat is an aggressive, multi-faceted strategy to diversify and develop indigenous energy resources. the most feasible.

The report examines increased investment in energy efficiency and demand side management, small-scale distributed resource development, geothermal power plant development, and large-scale wind and solar resource development.

“Of all these alternatives, however, by far the most important and most capable of supporting a low-carbon energy future that is largely decoupled from foreign disturbances is the development of the local geothermal resource. Geothermal energy has the potential to provide over 100% of Montserrat’s energy needs,” the report notes.

According to the Energy Task Force report, “Montserrat has the potential to emerge as a net exporter of energy through the aggressive development of its geothermal resources.”

A significant obstacle highlighted in the 129-page document is the lack of funding for the implementation of the project. Several strategies on exploring the different financing options available at Montserrat are provided, a time-limited approach to accessing grants, debt financing and other alternative financing solutions is presented.

MCWLE permanent secretary Colin Fergus said: “The department has reviewed the final report and will include its findings in our departmental strategic plan.

Recommendations from the task force include:

  • Creation of a committee to study possible models for allowing energy systems (DES) on the national grid without negatively affecting MUL and the least expensive ratepayers.

  • The GoM/MUL provides a special tariff for large consumers as a means of attracting foreign direct investment to Montserrat.

  • Developed a comprehensive plan to address any inefficiencies that may exist within MUL to facilitate an acceptable electricity rate.

  • Establishment of an independent and transparent electricity regulatory commission.

  • The GOM should actively explore obtaining funding in the form of a grant or a funding commitment from the FCDO for the financing of a large renewable energy project.

  • The GOM must obtain approval from Britain to pursue the debt financing option.

Members of the task force are Director of Energy, MCWEL Kenrick Burke, who was selected as task force chair; Program Management Officer (PMO), Martin Parlett; who was chosen as vice-president while the director of the laboratory, MCWEL Rolando Kassie, who was chosen as coordinator. Other members include consultant, Owen Lewis; General Manager, MUL, Kendall Lee and Fish-N-Fins Manager, Veta Wade.

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