Fellow Citizens and Residents, Greetings.
CARICOM member states will be observing the month of November as Energy Month.
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development & Transport, through its
Energy Unit and in collaboration with SKELEC and other institutions will, therefore, be
taking part in this observance.
CARICOM’s theme for this year is "CLEAN ENERGY, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND
REGULATIONS: GENERATING GROWTH AND RESILIENCE;. We have adopted a
sub-theme "CLEAN ENERGY, Benefits You and Me!"
As consumers, you are mainly concerned with the delivery of reliable and affordable
energy. While the government works assiduously to deliver on these two criteria, there
is also another that I would like to bring to your attention: That is the delivery of Clean
Energy. As the theme says, Clean Energy benefits all of us in many ways.
Clean Energy is generated from local resources. Thus if a significant amount of our
energy is clean we will be insulated from external shock, making our energy supply
Clean Energy does not produce the pollutants that fossil fuels do. The production of
Clean Energy will reduce the quantity of disease-causing pollutants, leading to a
Clean Energy does not produce the greenhouse gas that causes global warming, the
associated climate changes and their negative effects on our lives and livelihoods. By
adopting Clean Energy, we would be making our contribution to our international
obligation, to which we acceded in the Paris Climate Accord.
The cost of equipment associated with Clean Energy (such as solar panels) is trending
downwards. The technology is also improving, resulting in greater efficiencies and lower
cost. Clean Energy therefore has the potential to be less expensive than energy
produced from fossil fuel.
Finally, Clean Energy plants tend to be distributed throughout the grid as opposed to
centralized fossil fuel plants. The distributed nature of clean energy results in more
resilient grids and greater energy security. For that reason, my ministry is actively
pursuing several Clean Energy initiatives.
For example, a surface survey was done to determine the potential for Geothermal in
the areas from Lamberts to Belmont Estate. The survey concluded that there is a
potential for 18 to 36 MW. We are thus currently in negotiations with the French
company, TERANOV, to develop this resource.
The Ministry in conjunction with SKELEC is presently reviewing several proposals for
Wind, Solar and Waste-to-Energy projects. We are optimistic that one or more will come
to fruition in 2019. We are also in discussions with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a
grant funded renewable energy project.
On the energy efficiency front, an energy audit of sixteen (16) government buildings and
water pumps is presently ongoing. Also ongoing is a project to replace the existing
street lights in both St. Kitts and Nevis with LED lamps. The actual installation is
expected to start early next year. Additionally our ministry has been a key player in the
Bureau of Standards' "Regional Energy Efficiency Code" project. We are also a key
player in the Ministry of Environment's Electric School Bus pilot project.
For your guidance, our ministry will be having a number of activities in observance of
Energy Month. These include worship at the Zion Moravian Church on Sunday 04th,
and an appearance on Working For You on Wednesday 07th. Citizens can visit the
ministry on Friday 16th and 30th to collect LED lamps for their homes, and throughout
the month employees from both the ministry and SKELEC will make presentations at
schools throughout the nation.
Other activities include an Energy Health Walk on Saturday 24th and the launching of
the LED Street Lighting Project later this month. This LED Street Lighting Project will
replace the existing street lights with LED lamps. This is an energy efficiency measure
that is expected to result in reduced fuel consumption and lower costs for SKELEC and
by extension, consumers.
I take this opportunity to invite each of you to support and participate in the activities of
Energy Month and also to become familiar with the issues surrounding energy-use
within the Federation.
It thus gives me great pleasure to now declare Energy Month officially open.
May it please you and may God continue to bless our beloved Federation.