Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hotel Sector Waits for Government to Submit SIDS Dock Proposal

When the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association began the journey to become the first Zero Carbon Hotel Sector in the region, a mechanism called 'SIDSdock' had been identified as a possible funding source.

The term SIDS refers to small island developing states, and if you live on one, it's a term you hear a lot. If you don't live on one, chances are it's a term you've never heard of before. The SIDS grouping blossumed as a leading advocacy grouping of countries who would be most affected by climate change. Grenada is a small island developing state that will be profoundly affected by climate change, but thanks to our mountains we'll still have an island(s) as sea levels rise - other flat, low lying islands might not be so lucky as to look forward to a continued existence.

How is this related to the Hotels waiting for the government to submit their proposal? Well, SIDS Dock was a funding mechanism developed specifically for financing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and the hotels zero carbon goal fits in quite nicely with that. The problem is that there are limited funds that all the SIDS are competing for (or at least those who are efficient enough to get projects designed and proposals put together) and Grenada's already got a proposal in queue! Not submitted by us, but by government. And not surprisingly, the first version of the Hotels SIDS proposal given to government to submit to SIDSDock in mid-July hasn't gone anywhere.

Is there enough money for the government and the private sector of one country to have their proposals financed? I don't know. Should a funding mechanism like this evolve into government and non-governmental streams? Probably.

In the meantime however, I took out the solar farm component of our project at the end of August because it was a) the most expensive part and b) required more negotiations with the local utility (I will blog about this another time). So the USD $2 million request was reduced to USD $500,000 and solar farm (Community energy) component that would have required Memorandums of Understanding and Agreements with the Government and GRENLEC were removed.

The project is now a 100% self contained project that doesn't require agreements, MOU's, partnerships or anything else that could hold things up. It's a simple project involving Energy Audits and Energy Conservation/Efficiency retrofits that could reduce electricity consumption by as much as half (OMG - that's a lot!).

There's an approximate deadline of 'September' to get that proposal officially submitted. I don't know if our proposal made it to Cabinet for review yesterday, but since the government decided to prorogue government yesterday - I doubt it. So it's pretty safe to assume the proposal won't be going anywhere this week. Next week maybe?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Carriacou Launches Project to Convert 40-60% Diesel Electricity to Renewable Wind Energy

ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA Monday, September 10, 2012: In keeping with the pronouncement in the 2012 Budget, the Government of Grenada in partnership with the European Union and GRENLEC will launch the Carriacou Wind Energy Project. The Financing Agreement was approved in February 2012 at a cost of EUR 3.9 million with a EUR 2.5 million Grant from the European Union to the Government of Grenada and at least EUR 1.4 million counterpart funding from GRENLEC.

The project seeks to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuel for electricity generation. This is a momentous step towards stabilising electricity prices in Grenada and reducing our carbon footprint. Carriacou’s relative size in relation to the rest of the electricity grid in Grenada means that the effect on the overall grid will be small. Nonetheless, the project is important to the overarching strategy for renewable energy development in the State of Grenada.

This project will include a wind farm and energy storage system, with an intelligent control system. This configuration of state-of-the art technology will allow production of about 1-2 megawatts of wind energy or between 40-60 percent wind energy penetration in Carriacou, placing it among commercial hybrid systems delivering the highest penetrations of wind energy. Such systems integrate renewable energy technology with traditional fossil fuel generation. The Carriacou project is intended to reduce diesel consumption in Carriacou by 40-60 percent.

The Carriacou Wind Farm is the first of two that GRENLEC plans on constructing in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Significantly, the part-funding from the European Union, through the Government of Grenada, makes the project feasible for GRENLEC. The other major area of interest is geothermal energy, for which consultations with key stakeholders are ongoing, in addition to work on draft legislation to manage exploration of Grenada’s resources.

The launch will be comprised of a Signing Ceremony at the National Stadium on Tuesday 11th September at 11:00 a.m and a Sod Turning Ceremony at Top Hill, Carriacou on Wednesday 12th September commencing at 1:00 p.m. The events will be jointly hosted by representatives from the European Commission’s Regional Office, The Ministry of Finance, The Ministry of Carriacou and Petit Martinique Affairs and GRENLEC.

This pilot project is novel and will provide useful lessons as Grenada pursues it “GREENADA” vision and the targets in the National Energy Policy.

All members of the media are invitetd to the Signing Ceremony at the Grenada National Stadium tomorrow Tuesday 11th September at 11:00 a.m

By: Ministry of Finance and GRENLEC

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Posting Comments on this blog

I have been told that there are people who wish to post comments on this blog. The comment feature has been on it since I created the blog some years ago, but I haven't figured out how to make the placement more obvious. Usually, because comments aren't frequent, you can click "No comments" at the bottom of the post. I presume when comments are put up, the button will appear differently, but in the same place. Perhaps it'll say, "Add a comment"....not sure. I will ask someone who's more technically minding to help me make the feature more user friendly, but until then - post your comments!! Please note however, comments are moderated to ensure that nothing offensive or inappropriate is posted here.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

BBC Fast:Track Highlights Grenada's Chelsea Flower Show Winners

Grenada is more than Sea, Sun and Sand....we have the Chelsea Champion Flowers too...