CIG plans 70% cut in fossil fuel by 2037

| 08/02/2017 | 43 Comments

(CNS): The government has suggested that in the next twenty years it intends to massively reduce the country’s reliance of fossil fuels for energy and transport. In what may seem like an improbable target, officials have said that from a current starting point of a mere 0.9% of power generated from non-fossil fuels, by 2037 it will be producing 70% of its electricity from renewable sources. Releasing a copy of the latest national energy policy proposal for public consultation, Planning Minister Kurt Tibbetts, who has responsibility for energy, said the target is not only possible but it could be surpassed.

“I believe that the target of 70% renewable energy in our energy mix by 2037 is realistic and that it can, with careful and diligent implementation, be exceeded and therefore our combined efforts must be to not only achieve the target but to surpass it,” he said in the new policy document. Government wants the public to comment on the policy and take part in a survey over the next two weeks.

The premier has also offered his backing to the reduction in fossil fuel and what would ultimately be a major cut in Cayman’s carbon footprint. While our contribution on the global stage may be meagre compared to emissions of much larger countries, it is still important, he noted.

“As a small island nation that is extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate change, it is important that we do our part,” Alden McLaughlin said. “And in doing our part we, as a country and individually, can also benefit economically from being less reliant on fossil fuels.”

The latest National Energy Policy, which government said was based on the one laid in parliament at the end of the last government’s term in 2013, is expected to go to the Legislative Assembly sometime during the last sitting of this administration.

Officials said that the new draft reflects developments such as the Paris Agreement by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as lower prices for oil and renewable energy.

Alongside the ambitious renewable energy targets, which will see Cayman generating near 65% of its energy from solar technologies and wind-power, there is also an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gases dramatically. The most recent estimate from 2014 is that Cayman produces 12.3 tCO2e per capita. And given the country has obligations as a British Overseas Territory and party to the Paris Agreement to reduce that to 4.8 tCO2e per capita by 2050, during the next 20 years government will need to significantly accelerate reductions.

The policy document points to analysis that suggests the ambitious goals could be met and that achieving a minimum level of renewable energy delivered to the electricity supply system of at least 60% solar is entirely achievable. But the country could aspire to much more because officials believe that technological developments will drive costs down. Finding land for wind or solar generation could be a challenge, but the policy indicates that places such as mined-out quarries or the landfill (presumably after remediation) as well as roof tops could provide the land needed.

In a press release Tuesday about the policy, government said the “vision” in the document calls for a focus on “enhancing and embracing a sustainable lifestyle through responsible and innovative energy supply and consumption”.

Knowledge and education, energy security, sustainability and ambitions for the Cayman Islands to become a centre-of-excellence in renewable energy are also cited in the policy — despite the current absence of almost any sustainable energy use.

But policymakers believe that success will hinge in large part on the implementation of strategies relevant to the electricity sector.

A committee appointed in 2016, which included stakeholders from the public and private sector, drafted the policy that will be steered through parliament by the energy minister. But given that Tibbetts, the minister responsible for the policy, is still planning on retiring, whether it will ever be implemented remains to be seen.

Anyone interested in contributing to the public consultation can take the online survey here, and the deadline for general feedback is Monday 20 February. For more information, contact [email protected] or 244-2412.

See the full policy in the CNS Library

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Category: Energy, Policy, Politics, Science & Nature

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be truly fascinating reading to see who the ultimate beneficial owners are of the territory’s petroleum products infrastructure – the fuel stations, wholesalers, distributors, and mid-ocean refueling tankers – and their relative (pardon the pun) slice of the pie.




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  2. Anonymous says:

    Greenhouse carbon emissions could be cut by 90% if we close the LA immediately.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman emits less than 1 mile of LA traffic. This should be an economic argument, not an environmental one. Its as nonsensical as driving an electric car charged by CUC generators and thinking you are green.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    What an honourable goal! It’s good to hear a Government of ours boldly announce such a challenge, especially in light of the “foot-dragging” on a viable solution for Mt. Thrashmore, a defined plan for its “successor” and a meaningful approach to recycling (admittedly some measures have now started, twenty years behind the general global trend).

    This week the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined a few other Caribbean countries by announcing a ban on styrofoam products. I wonder how such an action would fit into our own Government’s future intentions, considering the identity of one of the world’s largest producer of styrofoam products!




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  4. Anonymous says:

    In the US m any medium sized cities hire a city manager who puts together a team paid to run the city as a business. There is a definite separation between the politics and the money. This island has a voting population of less than 1/2 it’s population. 25,000 does not a nation make. 25000 is just a small tribe. Too many chiefs, why not take the business of governing and put it in the hands of a business management Company that is there to make money for the company that is voting Caymanians.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Correct. Sustainable urban development for 50,000+ requires a professional growth plan developed by accredited urban planners and engineers, rather than jerk stand owners, paid conflicted ministers, and narcissist fakers. If more voters could only appreciate the difference that would make, we would have a better and more efficient result, with surplus money for other things.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If they did that we would all be rich instead of a select few… So no chance!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Because Government is in the business of providing services to its people, not making money. If a government is turning a profit, its doing it wrong. This is not an excuse to be spendthrift. But running a government like a business, with more attention to the bottom line than to the public welfare, is a recipe for social disaster. No one ever turned a profit from Social Services. (Also the opportunities for graft and corruption are greatly increased because more work will be farmed out to the lowest bidder increasing the kickbacks and bribes in order to win contracts. Goodfellow Sanitation Services, anyone?)




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      • Anonymous says:

        A government is a business, they aim to end each financial year in a surplus not deficit. Those countries with all the ‘free’ services charge income tax, are you willing to pay that ?




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  5. Anonymous says:

    Who ever announced this is clearly not even remotely in touch with science and facts. Unless they invent some sort of new technology besides solar and wind or find some massive geotherminc source, this is just clownish statements on so many levels. Grand Cayman has to worry about its greenhouse emissions on the planet??? What is that some sort of feel good let’s do our part psychobabble? Of right, let’s make sure we don’t add on top of China, India, Brazil, Europe, and the USA emissions we can really help in preventing to tip the upcoming armegeddon. Was al gore present when making this moronic statement?




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  6. Anonymous says:

    We need to shake it all up. We have to vote in “outsiders” with a strong will to accomplish what have never happened. Change for the people… when will it occur? As soon as the people get fed up with the ruling class and decide to vote for change. Everyone who has posted says,, the gov’t will not be the solution… too much hand waving and getting elected and changing seats.. asme people, same problems with only a few truly benefiting.. So sad, but a reflection on OUR country and over all apathy…




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Announcements like this always give me flashbacks to that scene in the movie ‘Blazing Saddles’ where the crowd all yell, “BULLSHIT!” Reality of life – right now all across the UK and Europe you will see solar panels producing usable power and over there it’s the middle of freaking Winter! Years ago CIG should have mandated that no new building could be constructed without some form of built-in photo-voltaic power source.

    They should also have introduced minimum requirements for insulation and thermal glazing but at the end of the day it never happened because CUC rules and they don’t want to conserve energy because that costs them money.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Another major achievement. I can’t believe how ill-informed posters are. Guys come on you mean you don’t know that the government has identified a land fill solution for the first time ever and is about to issue an RFP.

      Moreover do you really believe that a policy like this can be developed overnight.

      Shame on you for being so negative and ill-informed. Oh wait you don’t want to be informed.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    But we can’t do it now because that would take the fore sight we still don’t have but will in 2037 according to our learning curve.




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  9. Anonymous says:

    2037 ? Wont do me any good… I’ll be gone clear by then




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  10. Anonymous says:

    These bozo’s can not even get a proper recycling program going and we are into 2017. They can not get the landfill/dump sorted out but need more consultants and reports.
    They can not get a decent organized mass transit program going.
    So now they got a new brain storm to cut fossil fuel usage.
    Give me a break will you!
    Look just pay us off and get the vote then you can go play around together!




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  11. GT Voter says:

    Must be election time because the BS is getting thick!




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    • Anonymous says:

      To paraphrase Apocalypse Now, “Oh man, the bullshit is piling up so fast in the Cayman Islands, you need wings to stay above it.”




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  12. SKEPTICAL says:

    As usual no specific details, but the implication, for electricity generation, is that solar power is top of the list.
    Questions:
    What is likely cost of land acquisition
    What is likely cost of solar panels, installation, and maintenance.
    What is expected life span of panels
    What happens if Cayman is hit by major hurricane and panels are destroyed
    What, if even available, would be replacement insurance cost.
    What happens to CUC, if by any chance the proposal were successful.

    Over to you Kurt




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  13. Anonymous says:

    OMG I cannot stop laughing. Seriously, exactly how stupid do you think your voters are?

    In four years you’ve done diddly…..literally nothing, and now that we have an election year….wow…you guys are coming out of the woodwork with all kinds of great plans.

    I call total and complete BS.

    You’ve had four years to do something about the dump, and you didn’t have to start from ground zero. there were reports, consultants, blah blah blah blah blah. This was a problem that you campaigned on, PPM had the solution….or did you forget?

    4 years later and the dump is even bigger than ever.

    The whole lot of you are worthless to these Islands.




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  14. Cayman Biting Ants says:

    With CUC owning this particular Government which is filled up with cronies and family members that sounds about right 2037 most will be dead and gone so yes 70% because the technology with be obsolete. Oh but PPM can blurt out some politican Doo doo eh. NO votes Cayman move these Stooges and their croniies out of power and government soon.




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  15. Anonymous says:

    what is it with this go green initiative.

    Everyone of you realise it’s not going to benefit any of you, right?

    CUC will monopolize it, just like they do now with solar.

    Your electricity will be just as expensive as ever.

    If the government truly wants to go green.

    1. Bring in an alternate energy provider, that has nothing to do with CUC.
    2. Remove CUC’s restrictions on solar generation.

    If they truly wanted to go green, they would do number 2 right now.

    But CUC will not want that. Because then that means people who can afford it, or take out a loan can get free electricity, tied into the grid. And CUC would make no money off that.

    fossil fuels….pleaseeeeee




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  16. Anonymous says:

    if you think caymanian politicians care about the environment….just look at the dump….




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    • Anonymous says:

      Lol spot on. However renewable energy is the key to sustaining any nations economy. This is great news and new hope for future generations to come.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! This is the same idle talk and crystal ball stuff as was spewed more than 20 years ago about closing the current dump and having a proper first world solid waste management solution in place. That’s all it was “idle talk”. These MLAs still clutching short straws to get re elected. This is a waste of breath and resources just like all the hype and so called planning that went into Vision 2008. Why try to make epic statements you can’t even see through to implementation in your lifetime, just stick to making promises for the next four years and that’s it.




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  17. Anonymous says:

    don’t worry kurt is in charge…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz




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  18. Anonymous says:

    We are literally 20 years behind on almost everything. Our Cabinet continually serves the wrong master.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Only 20 years? I was working in Israel 25 years ago and we were already at least a decade behind them.




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  19. lo-cal says:

    So where will you recoup the loss revenue from the fuel tax? its easy to make promises 20 years in the future when no one can hold you accountable.

    Renewable is the way to go and a jurisdiction like Cayman can easily implement this in a much shorter time. One easy way is to require via planning law that each new structure have solar panels installed which can feed the grid. A portion of the earnings from the supply should go to GOV to replace the loss of the fuel tax. The same can also be for all government and commercial buildings.

    If GOV subsidizes the panels in return for a percentage of generation revenue and businesses and homes see a reduction in cost that’s a win win for everyone.




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    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      I agree with mandating solar panels for all new buildings.

      Solar panels are currently duty free so effectively the the government is subsidising them.




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  20. Cheese Face says:

    20 yrs to cut 70%? Pathetic. Should be cut in half in 5 and gone in 10.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If you are so confident that it can be done quicker for the entire country then you should be able to cut your personal use of fossil fuels by 100% in the next 3 years. Please provide an update when you are finished. Note that this includes your home & vehicles.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Comments like this demonstrate how persistently archaic the thinking is around here. St Kitts and Nevis made a choice a few years ago and became the first 100% Carbon Neutral island on the planet last year – it only took them a few years, certainly not 20 years to get 75% of the way there! While CUC was blowing up a diesel-fired generator and replacing it with equally antiquated technology, Northern Germany produced so much renewable energy that they paid customers to use it (that was in 2015). The energy that this portion of this industrialized country “couldn’t use” was the equivalent of the energy needs of 1.5 mln people for a year. Last year 30% of German households were using renewable energy sourced from their own property, and many homes are equipped with inverters, grid meters and battery storage. We are 20 years behind many places in the world because, frankly, our leaders made (and continue to make) bad consumer energy deals that completely derelict public interest. Buying an electric car couldn’t be simpler nowadays; they’re cheap (finally only 10% import duty vs 29.5%+), easy to park, and super-torquey. Their range limitations are actually perfectly suited for our islands’ commuters. The newest generation of electric vehicle batteries can actually quite easily power a family home for 24 hrs. Today – not 20 years from now.




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      • Cheese Face says:

        How do you figure I should do it in 3 when I said 10? Also, the only people preventing me from getting it done are Government. Where are the duty cuts and incentives to actually try and make it happen? Other countries provide these. Get back in yer box son.




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        • Cheese Face says:

          Actually, I stand corrected, looks like they do offer duty waivers, which is great! But how does the average Joe living paycheck to paycheck afford to put enough panels on their house and buy an electric car? Banks may assist some with this, but not all can go down that road.




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