Introducing renewable energy sources may not significantly cut electricity bills immediately

Hermisha Rolle, SNO Reporter

The general notion that introducing renewable forms of energy could immediately result in significant reduction in a country’s electricity bills may not be true.

Executive Director for the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation (CARILEC) Allison A. Jean believes that the establishment of new forms of energy generation and reductions in electricity bills “don’t co-relate directly.”

According to her, costs associated with installing the renewable energy sources and services could in turn affect the final price of electricity.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, Jean said there should be no “high expectation” for significant declines in electricity bills just because a new source of energy surfaces, “because if you’re gonna be putting in high capital injection then the amortisation period and the cost of these resources [and] these equipment and so on will determine how the cost of electricity will play out in the market. So they may be [reduced] but it depends on several things.” 

While admitting not to know the specific cost of installing these alternative renewable production plants, Jean said they can be very expensive. 

Questioned as to when she believes such a company will set up shop in Saint Lucia, Jean said she cannot say, but was adamant that it will all fall in place once the country can enact legislation to regulate the utilities sector.

“I believe the independent producers will come when legislation is in place,” she said.

In April, Dr. James Fletcher, Minister for the Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, will spoke to the business community on the plans and efforts of the government to cause the introduction of alternative energy sources to the island, an earlier press release states.

From wind energy to geothermal energy, there have been hints of initiatives being pursued by government which could lead to a decline in fossil fuel dependency in St. Lucia, it added.

Dr. Fletcher has also indicated to the media, his support for the right framework and legislation to be enacted to support that sector.

Renewable energy is generally defined as energy that comes from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.

Some scientists believe that renewable energy and energy efficiency will result in significant energy security, climate change mitigation, along with economic benefits.

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5 comments

  1. The direct correlation should be there. Or you should have simply stated they correlate but only with your employment and the salary you earn. All in the interest of self and not the people!

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  2. We do posses renewable energy companies in St.Lucia, there are several of them. One which I know of has been operating in St.Lucia for the past 5-6 years and they've installed a few systems already from their website. Notably at my past school St.Marys College.

    Obviously the initial purchasing cost would be high, but in the long run after the system has been paid for there will be significant savings. Sunshine has no cost. Electricity prices are due to increase, with the ever increasing cost of oil.

    Its an investment for the future and if I had my own home I would definitely consider getting one.

    Save the world.

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  3. Alright are you missing something to make renewables work in Saint Lucia? You have just displayed it. It is called ignorance, meaning, the lack of investment in the necessary education to build the domestic infrastructure from the ground up.

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  4. Pie in the Sky

    The reasons to implement alternative energy production systems are:
    1. To reduce our dependence on imported diesel fuel and all of the geopolitical issues that comes with it.
    2. To guard against likely increases in the price of diesel fuel as world oil prices rise in line with global economical recovery
    3. To reduce our emissions of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases so making our contribution to reducing human impact on climate change

    n the long term these will probably reduce energy costs.

    Of greatest significance will be the division of Lucelec into 2 separate entities. One a monopoly purchaser, distributor and seller of electricity, the other a producer of electricity competing with alternative sources of generation.

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