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PROJECT: Unblocking legal barriers to renewable energy in Anguilla

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Project Reference: TALA-0021

Caribbean countries spend up to 40% of their foreign exchange earnings to import fossil fuels needed for their electricity and transport sectors.  The Caribbean has come to recognise that its dependence on ever more expensive imported fossil fuels results in economic vulnerability and reduces their ability to invest in climate compatible development.  Hence governments throughout the region are now committed to finding models that allow them to shift away from imported fossil fuels and move towards renewable energy production.

CDKN supported the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in preparing an Implementation Plan for the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change (the “IP”).  The IP provides a roadmap for action for the Caribbean in terms of climate compatible development.  The document recognises that “it is imperative to improve the resilience of the economies of the Caribbean by reducing the dependency on imported high-cost fossil fuels by improving energy efficiency and the development of low carbon energy generation[1].

Anguilla is uniquely positioned to lead the region in a comprehensive approach to renewable energy transition because with support from the CCCCC, the Government of Anguilla drafted a Climate Change Policy. One of the main goals of this policy is to “meet vital energy needs by transitioning towards reliable, affordable, and renewable, energy resources”.

In 2009 the government of Anguilla adopted an Energy Policy, which calls for reducing dependence on fossil fuels by implementing policies and legislation that promote energy efficiency and facilitate the adoption of renewable energy technologies. At the macro level, this project is designed to help the government of Anguilla advance towards the implementation of these two policies.

The Government of Anguilla, through the Anguilla Renewable Energy Office sought to amend its electricity legislation to provide a clear framework for the integration of both customer-driven and utility-scale renewable energy into the national electricity grid.  It was important that the legal framework was changed in a way that did not compromise the sustainability of the energy supplier at the time of the project.

In this context, CDKN supported the Government of Anguilla’s efforts to implement key elements of its National Energy Policy and Climate Change Policy by proposing amendments to current electricity legislation in order to provide a clear framework for integrating both a utility scale and a distributed renewable energy scale into the national electricity grid, fostering an adoption of renewable energy.

The project created a framework for integrating renewable energy that:

1) Recommends amendments to the Electricity Act and related electricity legislation aimed at allowing renewable energy integration

2) Supports findings with qualitative and quantitative information, taking into consideration the views of Government, ANGLEC, and stakeholders

3) Prepares documents that allows the general public to explain the technical findings of the project and the benefits of the proposed legislative changes and involves local stakeholders in the discussions of proposed changes

4) Documents and communicates this process so that it can be used by other countries which share similar challenges and goals.

Additionally, the project offered significant benefits in terms of equitable access to electricity. Under Anguilla’s tariff regime at the time, when world oil prices increased, the cost of electricity in Anguilla increased, leaving a growing number of consumers without access to electricity.  Renewable sources of energy offer an opportunity for cost savings in the long run. These cost savings hence offered the possibility of reducing the price of electricity for low-income users.

Most Caribbean Islands benefited from the precedent set by Anguilla’s Legislative Change Project.  The energy policies of several islands in the region call for the same kind of institutional, regulatory and legislative changes identified by Anguilla’s National Energy Policy and Climate Change Policy.

Update

April 2012: CDKN-sponsored project in Anguilla was presented during the Barbados Power Summit and generated great interest. Read more here.

April 2012: For an overview of the project recommendations presented to the Government of Anguilla during the Renewable Energy Integration Stakeholder Workshop in Anguilla, 24th April, please view the Anguilla’s Renewable Energy project presentation.

Project funding: £180,000

Project Manager: Patricia Leon

[1] CARICOM (2011). Implementation Plan for the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change, Pg 15.

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