CIG to control future renewable assets in new policy

| 27/04/2022 | 82 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier and Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency Wayne Panton, Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator CEO Raquel Moses, and CEO of Greentech Solar and Chairperson of the Energy Policy Council James Whittaker

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government is seeking to take control of the country’s future green energy resources through majority ownership of new solar or other renewable energy facilities. Premier Wayne Panton announced the major new policy direction on Wednesday at a forum in Miami, when he outlined the goal for government and the public to have the majority shares in any new infrastructure, allowing Cayman to reap and retain the benefits of renewable projects and control of future energy supplies.

Panton’s revelation came during a special conversational section at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, in which he delivered the keynote speech. Afterwards, he told CNS that the details of how this will be achieved have not yet been ironed out, but he said government will be engaged in some form of private partnership with operators of renewable facilities that will see the public control the majority stake.

“Government is seeking passive ownership,” the premier said. The operation of the facilities will be in the hands of the experts, not the CIG, but the aim is to keep control of local green energy provision and ensure that the financial benefits, as well as the know-how and security of such facilities, remain firmly in the hands of Caymanians.

“The policy decision to be involved at the ownership level is intended to help the Cayman Islands secure its own energy future by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy in accordance with the National Energy Policy,” he said, adding it would help with energy independence and resilience.

“It will also help stabilise energy costs by reducing the impact of the volatility typical of fossil fuel pricing. The decision will incrementally reduce the outflow of money for fossil fuel and thus also help to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits to the Caymanian people,” he said.

Just over one week ago, OfReg began the process of seeking interest from qualified potential bidders for a proposed 23-megawatt solar plant. But that the premier said this will “be withdrawn and changed” once government has discussed with local stakeholders what type of approach will best secure future energy needs.

James Whittaker, the chair of the Cayman National Energy Policy Council, was with Panton in Miami and is aware of the policy shift to have government directly involved in the future ownership of its energy supply as the council will be directly involved in the consultations over the coming weeks to shape the policy.

Panton told CNS that the move for government to take a controlling ownership in energy production applied only to new, not existing, infrastructure and only in utility-scale renewable energy generation assets in partnership with other investors and individual citizens.

“The government is not intent on acquiring any existing assets or interfere with consumer-owned renewables,” he said, explaining that it was about finding the best way to secure control of future energy production and increase the pace towards renewables.

“We have to make up for lost time,” he said. “Faster adoption of renewable energy moves us closer
to energy security and energy independence. The Cayman Islands is not immune from the global
price shocks; the increasing energy prices and increasing costs of other consumer items will drive
up the cost of living. Now that the government has stated its policy intent, the real work begins. We will commence stakeholder engagement to design the implementation plan,” he added.

Although the previous administration rolled out the current national energy policy back in 2017, no action was taken by the Unity government to deliver on any of the aims contained in it. Less than 3% of the country’s electricity comes from renewables, even though the policy calls for 70% of power generation to be green in just 15 years.

The World Bank is currently predicting exponential increases in the price of fuel and other resources over the next two years, continued disruptions to supply chains due to the war in Ukraine, which is further fuelling widespread inflation, and the biggest rise in natural gas prices in Europe since 1973.

Officials traveling with the premier said the Cayman Islands’ commitment to this new national model
will allow for greater predictability over future energy prices, and ownership will be in partnership with
others to keep a larger percentage of economic returns within this community.


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Business, Energy, Science & Nature, utilities

Comments (82)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Will all tax paying Caymanians receive shares in this new venture ?

  2. Orrie Merren says:

    This renewal energy policy is to be welcomed, which is compatible with our Constitution’s fundamental right to protection of the environment (protected under s.18, Bill of Rights).

    Now that the government policy has been established, it is hoped that it manifests itself effectively and efficiently in a manner that is, ultimately, beneficial to the Cayman Islands.

    God bless,
    Orrie 🙏🏻🇰🇾

    41
    7
    • Anonymous says:

      It’s going to be run by CIG which means it will be the most expensive electricity in the Caribbean more expensive than CUC if that’s s possible. These are the same folks who didn’t put jetways in at OWIA and forgot to tell us how much it costs to build the airport. I guess you can’t think of everything. 🤔🤔

      15
      12
      • Anonymous says:

        You’re right CIG electricity likely to be the most expensive on the planet once every MLA’s friend has had their cut and the build cost is 500% over budget…but CUC is MUCH cheaper than lots of similar islands like USVI and Bermuda… so yes it’s possible!

        6
        3
    • Anonymous says:

      Yea because they are doing such a splendid job fixing the dump. Government is not supposed to be in the business of producing electricity, and they certainly do not have the track record to justify this

  3. Anonymous says:

    Let me guess – this will become part of the ‘friends and family plan’ – like the topsoil from public housing sites.

    41
  4. Anonymous says:

    From the folks who gave you the Turtle Farm, Cayman Airways, OffReg, the dump, two $100M dollar high schools and countless useless insider boards comes cheap solar energy. This will not end well.

    58
    3
  5. Anonymous says:

    Great job Pilar

    13
    13
  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m pretty sure having board members who are incentivized/employed through votes is lousy ESG. I don’t see how this will attract any outside investment?

    24
    6
  7. Anonymous says:

    Translation: even higher energy bills incoming.

    33
    7
  8. Johann Moxam says:

    Smart move by the government. It is timely and if done properly should yield positive results for investors, stakeholders and sensible pricing for each customer.

    This is a very positive move for the country. I hope the government will continue to set the standard in other areas including planning, sustainable development, immigration reform and the various socio-economic issues in order to arrest the decline in our collective quality of life as a country.

    Best regards

    Johann Moxam

    30
    27
    • Orrie Merren says:

      Well said, Johann. I completely agree that there are a number of socio-economic injustice (including Caymanian protection) challenges that the Cayman Islands is facing, which it is hoped will be ironed out in due course and we can get back to being a modern democratic society that upholds the rule of law (without exception).

      God bless,
      Orrie 🙏🏻🇰🇾

      29
      8
      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t you all read, or read and not understand?

        The article says government will only be the majority shareholder ( for and behalf of the Caymanian people) and not the actual operator of these facilities i.e. a Private Public Partnership

        • Anonymous says:

          Is government going to seek a return on their share(s) and distribute dividends to the public or act as a non-profit to depress energy costs? Will government issue public bonds to raise the capital for their share of the investment with inflation-adjusted returns or borrow money directly and run into the FFR limitations?
          The problem is nobody knows because this was announced without an actual plan of how it will be structured. Another lesson learned from the UDP playbook. Fire, aim, ready!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Lets play CIG bingo!

    1. Overspend 2. Contracts awarded to friends 3. Purchasing wrong or faulty equipment 4. Delays 5. DART.

    27
    5
  10. Anonymous says:

    Gravitas Plus: The dark side of electric vehicles
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RFHvq-8np1o

    13
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      EVs are just a stop-gap to the real future, FCEVs, they are much cleaner but still need time for the technology to mature. Solar, wind, and many other renewables can be used to produce clean hydrogen for fuel cell technologies that can power cars, boats, planes, trains, and houses.

      3
      2
      • Anonymous says:

        Hydrogen only has a limited future in applications batteries don’t work (ships, heavy plant, 24/7 duty cycles). It simply makes no sense to produce electricity, to generate hydrogen, to feed a fuel cell, to generate electricity, to charge a buffer/regen battery, to drive an electric motor rather than simply use the electricity to charge a larger battery in the first place. The physics simply doesn’t stack up.

        4
        1
    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for posting this link. Every Tesla owner should be forced to watch it. Might just knock them off their sanctimonious pedestal.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nationalise the grid, take CUC the elephant out of the room out of the room, reduce it to being a licensee. Level the playing field for all potential power providers. It’s called competition, which it what we don’t have right now.

    29
    6
    • Anonymous says:

      Please God no. Do you know how long the weather radar has been out of service waiting for abpart?

  12. Anonymous says:

    “Caymans” and “Grand Cayman Islands”. I’m not sure which one Caymanians hate worst.

    23
    1
  13. Anonymous says:

    Just when progress was being made, Government comes along to mess it up

    21
    11
  14. Anonymous says:

    So someone couldn’t get their proposal together so “if I can’t win I’m going to take my ball and go home”
    “I can’t win under the rules, so I’ll get the rules changed so you can’t win either”

    17
    7
  15. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mr. Premier. Now lets work on saving our mangroves.

    17
    15
  16. Anonymous says:

    Finally someone taking charge..CUC and the Oil Companies has raped us for so many years..whatever we do now, we the people, must be involved. We must have some say!

    There are very few ways of lowering the cost of living other than reducing energy costs. We control nothing and because these companies are monopolies, we are left to suffer with no relief.

    Thank you Premier Panton!

    13
    16
    • Anonymous says:

      Lol. And you imagine a 75 acre solar farm project managed by CIG providing about 5% of our electricity is going to lower energy costs? Okaaay

      1
      1
  17. Anonymous says:

    This policy will be located next to the new Cruise/Tourism policy. Pretty sure that is where the sun doesn’t shine.

    22
    1
  18. Weighing on my mind says:

    I am convinced that with every new initiative, the Premier’s opinion carries more weight. We must not dimiss his views lightly.

    9
    10
  19. Anonymous says:

    If James wasn’t in the business for himself I would feel better. Fox in the hen house !!

    36
    1
  20. Anonymous says:

    This is an ill conceived and ill fated idea that will cost this country hundreds of millions of dollars. Better yet, the Government will be silent partners in all of this and basically putting up the cash with no say! Stupid stupid Stupid. Let private business build it and Government do its job and regulate. We didn’t Hire Wayne to become a renewable producer. He needs to be looking at ways to deal with the cost of living instead of throwing cash at mega million infrastructure projects.

    27
    6
    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree, this makes no sense, what investor is going to want to put money into the project and not be at lease and equal shareholder or have potential to make marginal return on investment.

      18
      1
  21. Anonymous says:

    Only words!

    Won’t happen.

    14
    6
    • Anonymous says:

      Probably not, but it most likely will be enough to scare off the investors who were previously willing to finally give the Cayman Island a substantial amount of renewable energy and get close to meating the stated goals and timelines

      14
  22. Anonymous says:

    Who is going to decide the value of the shares? Will there be different classes of shares? Will shares have to be issued in companies prior to the award of a competitive bid or will bids no longer be awarded on a price competitive nature? Will shareholders get dividends?

    16
    2
  23. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting from the Premier.
    It is confusing however that he seems to have not run this past OfReg before they released that solar scheme last week.
    I also wonder where the money to pay for this will come from.

    28
    • Anonymous says:

      Money shouldn’t be a problem, the tourism stipend is $4.5 million per month. Take them off the stipend and offer free electricity to everyone instead.

      11
      1
  24. Anonymous says:

    Now let’s see what the two CUC reps have to say when their turn comes.

    32
    8
    • Anonymous says:

      They will be sour as CUC feel entitled to profits no matter the costs to the public.

      11
      5
    • Anonymous says:

      And Mr. blah blah blah still wants to convert the engines to LNG, and whose going to pay for that infrastructure? Let’s see if anyone wants to buy property next to a bomb silo too. This guy is really a joke. SMH off

      4
      2
  25. Anonymous says:

    Because CIG does a brilliant job with everything they get involved with…grab the popcorn, pizza and beer.

    65
    9
  26. Anonymous says:

    CIG doesn’t have to own anything to keep the $$ in the local economy – just insist there is a majority local ownership.

    40
    10
    • Anonymous says:

      You mean DART and Schilling right? local Caymanians right?

      17
      7
      • Anonymous says:

        Turns out they are, and you elected the governments whose policies granted them that right.

        16
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          How dare you bring the truth into it. They get awfully upset if there isn’t someone else to blame.

          10
          1
    • Anonymous says:

      This is much better than allowing a local company to control the majority, we just have to watch out for sticky fingers in the government purse.

      5
      3
  27. Anonymous says:

    Take control of McBasher first

    53
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be an idiot chasing after a drunk man. What do you expect was going to happen? Smh.

      1
      5
    • Ffs says:

      For goodness sake give it up. Mac isn’t going anywhere, nor is he doing anything but keeping a low profile. Get. Over. It.

      3
      9
  28. Anonymous says:

    Just outfit every house-hold/top with solar. Problem solved.

    “and CEO of Greentech Solar”….hmmmm

    56
    6
    • Anonymous says:

      Government will not interfere with consumer owned systems, which directly benefit the chair of the council and drive up costs, to the surprise of nobody.

      Government has also yet to deliver a single capital project on time or under budget, so I don’t suppose that bodes well for speeding up and keeping costs down.

      When this policy is dropped by a successive government because government cannot sustain the capital investment levels necessary for majority ownership, what happens then?

      49
      5
  29. Anonymous says:

    CIG should bury transmission lines as part of storm prep and continuity planning, leasing back to CUC. How are competitors supposed to enter this market with CUC owning 100% of transmission infrastructure? One day there will be small modular reactors available to other markets, but we will still be burning diesel, well past time from an environmental emissions standpoint.

    48
    4
  30. Anonymous says:

    Oooh can we take bets on how much this $20m project costs? $200m?

    55
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll definitely take the over on that bet 4:54. 🙂

      It is so much fun spending other people’s money and these politicians are like grown up kids in a candy shop.

      They literally can’t help themselves.

  31. Anonymous says:

    For the first time I have to say, goood job Wayne Panton. Now remove the idiotic covid rules and fix the dump.

    36
    31
    • Anonymous says:

      Hilarious that you think this will actually come to pass. Have you not learnt that PACT is all talk and no action? You think because Pantalones was flapping his lips in the states that means it’s going to happen? Jokes on you.

      10
  32. Anonymous says:

    Is this acceptable to Off Reg?

    27
    4
    • Anonymous says:

      OfREG need to be disbanded and all parties fired for incompetence. A complete waste of money

      6
      2
  33. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Premier Panton this is a great move for the Caymans

    28
    46

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.