Gov’t says energy policy is a priority

| 09/12/2019 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service
Kristen Augustine, the new energy policy coordinator at the Ministry of CPI

(CNS): Despite government’s very ambitious plan to wean Cayman off fossil fuels over the next decade, so far little concrete action has been taken to make the dramatic changes needed to meet the goal of cutting fossil fuel use by 70% here over the next 17 years. But the government has nevertheless said it is a priority and revealed that over one month ago the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure (CPI) created the post of energy policy coordinator.

Kristen Augustine, a Caymanian civil servant who has been working largely at the planning department throughout her public sector career, has been appointed to this new post where she will “assist the ministry to deliver mission critical initiatives under the National Energy Policy,” , according to a press release.

She will also monitor the government’s position on emerging trends in the energy sector and provide guidance to the Energy Policy Council and key stakeholders on the National Energy Policy and its priority goals.

Planning Minister Joey Hew said, “Implementing the National Energy Policy is a strategic priority of the government, so having someone on board to coordinate and monitor the process as we work toward achieving our vision of sustainable energy supply and consumption is a step in the right direction,” he said.

Chief Officer Alan Jones said Augustine brings a wealth of experience in policy, planning, management and operations, which will add value to this important role.

“She is a bright and ambitious young Caymanian who excelled in her post at the Department of Planning and will no doubt bring the same level of drive and enthusiasm necessary to succeed in this position,” he said.

A former John Gray High School student, Augustine now has a Master of Science degree in Spatial Planning from Oxford Brooks University and a degree in Management and Tourism from the University of Surrey in the UK.

A certified town planner and permit technician with the Royal Town Planning Institute and the International Code Council, Augustine has also pursued courses focusing on development issues and the impact of climate change on small island developing states.

She has served at the Department of Planning as senior manager of operations, policy officer and planning assistant and completed a secondment as a senior policy officer at the ministry. Augustine also spent time working in the UK in the planning field at Reading Borough Council.

She said she is excited about the new assignment and “looks forward to working with all stakeholders, including those in the private and public sector to move the National Energy Policy forward”.

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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (36)

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  1. Two Cents says:

    I am impressed by this young lady’s qualifications (a Master of Science degree in Spatial Planning from Oxford Brooks University and a degree in Management and Tourism from the University of Surrey in the UK) and expertise (certified town planner and permit technician with the Royal Town Planning Institute and the International Code Council, Augustine has also pursued courses focusing on development issues and the impact of climate change on small island developing states).
    What baffles me is why she was not seen as the ideal person to head up the so called GT Revitalisation project which has been going no where for over 5 years and to lead a new initiative of improving our amenities and facilities for our tourists, both stay-over and cruise. God knows we do next to nothing locally to enhance the visitor experience and she seems to be ideally suited to finally address this huge void.
    While I don’t doubt that she will do her best at what she has been assigned, it strikes me that there is a substantial absence of talent assessment and application in the civil service when you see these weird developments.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So how much will a KWH cost per person once everyone that can afford solar has it and the cost to maintain the grid is passed on to the less fortunate with less people to absorb the cost?

    • Anonymous says:

      What are you talking about. Cuc is making $$$ off of the core agreement. They say it because core customers have to pay for there share of being tied to the grid. You silly rabbit thought cuc is just letting everyone put solar panels up and cut them out. Look every quarter cuc is posting record profits and at the same time the use of private solar continues to increase. Cuc any correlation. Cuc is making money no matter what and our government authorized it through ofreg.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully a bit more priority than the Standards in Public life implementation

    • Anonymous says:

      She has ZERO / ZERO expertise in energy policy. Does not matter though as she is Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are correct, most seem to share the opinion that she does not appear to have any energy industry experience, but what does her being Caymanian have to do with anything? If you look within the Local workforce, with unbiased eyes you will find that numerous expatriates, Work Permit/Status holders in the public and private sector have been promoted under the similar circumstances and have been met with the same criticisms. From Ministry Chief officers to junior managers and supervisors.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, Ms. Augustine. How about putting a solar PV project on some of the inland, undeveloped Crown land on one of the sister islands? It could make a real impact there, percentage wise, vs. the PV project on GC.

  5. Anonymous says:

    from the jokers who have been talking about the fixing the dump for the last 30 years…zzzzzz
    no caymanian in the civil service or cig has got the expertise to tackle this issue.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So a new Energy Policy Coordinator with no experience in the energy industry. Better yet, being tasked with implementing a “National Energy Policy” under a government that issues licences to ensure the monopoly and profitability of the sole diesel generated electricity provider on island continues. (A company that also has no interest in large scale renewable energy sources as it cannot provide “firm” power requirements in their opinion) …This should be fun.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fix the damn dump!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Ms Agustine. We are proud to a see a young Caymanian woman promoted in this key post. If only this would happen in the private sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t bet she has the political smarts or capability to deal with The Dump or put in place a real solar energy policy like Aruba. Prove me wrong Kristen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, let’s put Caymanians into positions in the private sector that they have no expertise in. The private sector is about profit, so one only hires qualified people not people simply because they are Caymanian.

  9. Anonymous says:

    21 century waste management is THE priority.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Energy Policy is a priority not just because of climate change, but also because we need to reduce reliance on importation of fuel. Imagine us sitting in the dark because something happened to our fuel supply chain.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed but a “real sustainable energy policy” requires breaking the CUC monopoly. This is just lip service. Even if this girl has ideas on how to reach set milestones for Cayman she’ll hit the proverbial brick wall. I’m hopefully but at the same time pessimistic since she’ll have to tow the line already set.

      • Anonymous says:

        You cannot break a monopoly on a bunch of dinky islands with 65,000 people. Profit is important.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why does the Civil Service continue to “transfer” professionals into areas outside their scope of training and expertise? This lady seems very well suited at the Dept of Planning and they need all the help they can get with town planning!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It’s must be so nice to be able to make demands on others and comments whilst not be bound by any reality whatsoever.

    Unless you are talking about installing a mini nuclear plant in Cayman (Good luck with the radical ecowhackjobs), achieving a 70% reduction in fossil fuels in the next 17 years is not only impossible, it’s insanity.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The dump us a priority

    • Anonymous says:

      The Dump has been a priority for 20 years. Nothing will be done.

    • Crab Claw says:

      Didn’t one of the politicians years ago wanted to build an incinerator and generator at the dump to burn the waste and resell the energy to CUC, we would have had the dump half way down by now if that had went into place.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t you get it? Talk is so cheap when it comes to politicians and the dump. So much has been said and spent for 20 years and absolutely nothing has been done.

        Start making the politicians in power accountable on this issue. Start getting aggressive with them on the dump. Really enough is enough. No more B.S.

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