The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis joins its CARICOM counterparts to observe CARICOM Energy Month which is observed annually in November to increase awareness of energy consumption and to encourage energy-saving actions. This year’s focus is on creating an all-electric future.
Minister of Energy, the Honourable Konris Maynard, reflected on the theme: “Our Future is Electric” noting that it positions the Member States to move away from total dependence on fossil fuels to using more mixes of renewable energy.
“This theme is meant to highlight the need for us to produce 100 percent of our electricity from renewable sources and convert all our energy end-use to electricity. In our case, that would mean ending our dependence on fossil fuels such as diesel for power generation. Instead, we will now be looking to power our electric grids from Solar, Wind, Geothermal, and other forms of renewable sources. It will also mean doing all our cooking using electric stoves and using electric vehicles as our means of transport,” said Minister Maynard.
Minister Maynard said that although “achieving an all-electric future will, no doubt, be challenging,” it will definitely prove beneficial. He outlined a few requirements needed to achieve an all-electric future.
“First, we will become more dependent on the electricity grid. This will require that the grid be reliable, secure, resilient, and accessible. Second, this will increase the demand on the electricity grid, which will require that we have ample access to renewable energy sources. This will require a substantial amount of financial, human, technical, legislative, and other resources to help us meet our 100 percent Energy Independence Goal by at least 2030,” said the Energy Minister.
He added that the “journey has started,” and St. Kitts and Nevis has achieved some notable milestones along the way.”
“There is a 2.2 megawatts (MW) wind farm that has been in operation in Nevis since 2001. A 0.75MW solar PV Farm was commissioned at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in 2013 and a 0.5 MW Solar PV Farm in the vicinity of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank round-a-bout in 2016. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank also commissioned 1MW of Solar PV installations between 2020 and 2021.
Added to these are several residual and commercial premises with rooftop solar PV panels,” he said.
Important to note, Minister Maynard said that the “customs service charge and import duties are currently exempted on imported alternative energy equipment. Additionally, regulations, procedures, and incentives are being drawn up for commercial, industrial, and domestic owners of rooftop Solar PV and Wind Turbines. When fully implemented, these initiatives should encourage persons to install and invest in alternative energy plants.”