St Lucia to establish energy regulator to facilitate development

St Lucia to establish energy regulator to facilitate development View over Soufriere, St. Lucia, Caribbean (source: flickr/ donnierayjones, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 3 Mar 2014

Caribbean island state of St. Lucia is planning the establishment of a National Utilities Regulatory Commission that will be responsible for setting tariffs and help foster investments in the ambitious renewable energy plans of the country.

Caribbean island state of St. Lucia is planing the foundation of an energy regulatory body, to assumre investors of regulatory certainty in the energy sector.

The Government has set an ambitious goal to position St Lucia to generate 35 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal energy by the year 2020.

The draft legislation for the establishment of a regulatory body, as independent national utilities regulator, will be discussed by public and private sector stakeholders.

Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Dr James Fletcher, said there must be a degree of transparency and fairness in the regulatory environment, if St Lucia is to realise real investment in the energy and water sectors.

He said this would be facilitated by the proposed National Utilities Regulatory Commission.

“Given that we already have a utility regulator for the water sector, we think it makes sense to combine the two utility regulators for water and electricity into one national utility regulator and this utility regulatory commission is supposed to provide transparent and independent regulation of a utility sector, which we hope in the very near future will not just be dominated by the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) but by other power producers.

“In fact, just this week, I have met with investors interested in wind energy development, waste to energy development and even development partners from as far away as New Zealand and Japan who want to assist us with our geothermal development portfolio.

“So there is a lot of interest in Saint Lucia`s power sector and the only way we can ensure that this interest translates into an orderly and well thought out development of the energy sector is to have this independent regulator in place,” Fletcher said.

Once established, the National Utilities Regulatory Commission will be responsible for setting tariffs and ensuring quality service by utility companies.”

Source: Jamaica Observer