To develop RE in Trinidad and Tobago and push the country to a more efficient path of energy usage, these four elements should be addressed:
1) Capacity and Building Awareness: the most critical to the RE industry is training and education. This helps in the development and promotion of energy efficiency and conservation. Progmmes for general education should be developed to raise public awareness and can be achieved by and enhanced through effective communication between local and national Government. The educational system and local community centers should be utilized in launching public awareness programmes.
2) Environment: This requires the government to create an enabling environment by support of incentives mixed with access to financing from traditional and non-traditional resources. Having an appropriate and legal framework for the electricity sector includes giving attention to various mechanisms such as feed-in tariffs, net metering and portfolio standards.
3) EE and Conservation: A strategy for RE development should recognizes the advancement of energy efficiency and conservation as a significant part of a plan to push ahead with RE.
A method of reasoning for cost adequacy of execution of RE advances ought to be bolstered by steps to guarantee proficient utilization of final results by consumers.
4) Institutional Arrangements: Consideration should be put into developing and creating RE and EE Agency for the implementation of policies and programs pertaining to Renewable energy and energy efficiency. By doing so, this helps to coordinate efforts at different levels of the government and the public.
Electricity generation in Trinidad and Tobago is approximately 1600MW.
In 2008, the electricity demand breakdown shows that the heavy industry accounts for majority of demand which is 30% followed by residential 28% and light industry 23%.
The demand for electricity is increasing dramatically because it is and essential commodity that promotes social and economic development and growth. The transmission and distribution of electricity in T&T is done by T&TEC. National gas accounts for about 99% of primary fuels for power generation for meeting this demand in Trinidad mainly through cycles technology. (Framework for development of a renewable energy policy for Trinidad and Tobago, 2011) However,
To date, there are no plans for the use of RE technologies simply because fossil fuels are readily available at a low cost. However, opportunity is seen by utilizing RE for power generation in the future. A pilot project done by T&TEC showed that PV is cost competitive with natural gas generation in providing a limited power supply to certain remote off-grid locations. (Framework for development of a renewable energy policy for Trinidad and Tobago, 2011). Technologies that have been shown to have significant advances in supplying power for the grid globally is hydroelectricity and wind. However, hydroelectricity is not practicable in a local scenario and wind generation is declining making the technology competitive even with the local electricity generation.
RE technologies cannot function on its own and therefore require an existing grid for power generation. Although there are challenges, the best RE option to generate power in T&T was found to be wind energy. This is because it has the greatest potential for providing a supply to the local power grid during the short to medium term.