National Energy Policy Coming
The Cayman Islands is arguably facing several challenges in the energy sector that may impede the future development and success of the Islands' economy and society.
Accordingly, under the auspices of the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Land and Agriculture (DAWLA), government appointed a National Energy Policy Committee (NEPC) on 1 June 2010; the NEPC is tasked with developing a National Energy Policy.
"We are almost one hundred percent dependent on fossil fuel to meet our energy needs. Water and electricity production and transportation are heavily reliant on these imported fuels and these areas are all important cornerstones of our economy and society," said Deputy Premier and Minister of DAWLA, the Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly.
She continued: "The challenges associated with oil reliability, affordability and security, as well as the environmental impact are all major concerns facing our relatively small country. As a government, we must address them; we feel a clear national plan to manage the energy sector is needed going forward, hence the appointment and remit of this committee."
The NEPC is not limiting its work merely to the electricity sector; it is tasked with looking at all aspects of energy requirements and use, including transportation, gasoline products, water supply, building codes, and environmental issues, as well as ensuring dependable product supply lines so that residents receive future continuity of necessary services.
Further, the NEPC is working closely with the Electricity Regulatory Authority to promote renewable energy systems for the Cayman Islands which will help in reducing the dependency on oil-based products.
Mr. Cline Glidden, MLA and DAWLA Ministerial Councillor is the NEPC Chairman and he is under no illusion regarding the daunting task that lies ahead. However, he remains upbeat about both the outcome and the committee:
"This is a policy that is timely in examining how we can reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and it is conducive with global environmental trends in seeking ways and means to decrease atmospheric pollutants. The challenges are many, but we need to be proactive rather than reactive," he commented.
Of the 15-member committee, Mr. Glidden said, "It covers a good cross-section of the business community, with the sub-committees expected to attract even more numbers and stakeholders. I am confident that it will deliver on its remit in a timely manner."
Other committee members are Deputy Chairman Darrel Rankine; Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks; Mr. James Tibbetts (Chamber of Commerce); Mr. Richard Hew (CUC); Mr. Jonathan Tibbetts (Cayman Brac Power & Light); Mrs. Gina Ebanks-Petrie (Department of Environment); Mr. Bentley Vaughan (Department of Environmental Health); Mr. Robert Lewis (Planning Department); Mr. Gary McTaggart (Petroleum Inspectorate); Mr. Adolphus Laidlow (Economics & Statistics Office); Mrs. Sherri Bodden-Cowan (Legal Fraternity); Mr. Tristan Hydes (DAWLA); NEPC Secretary Philip Thomas (Electricity Regulatory Authority), and Deputy Secretary Louis Boucher (ERA).
Mr. Glidden also assured the public that there will be ample opportunity for all persons to contribute to the policy document. Meanwhile, all correspondence should be addressed to NEPC c/o Electricity Regulatory Authority, P.O. Box 10189, Grand Cayman KY1-1002 or email email@example.com.