The National Gas Company is taking a bold “green” step and is investing significant sums in a massive Caribbean solar-energy project recently announced by Shell and bp.
NGC president Mark Loquan, speaking at the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s annual post-budget discussion, on Tuesday, described it as the company’s “foray into the green space and taking the bold steps of going green.”
Earlier this year, bp Alternative Energy TT and Shell Renewables Caribbean turned the sod on an extensive solar-power project.
Loquan said while natural gas is the least harmful of fossil fuels used for energy production, the company is invested in a future of renewable energy.
He noted that natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel burnt for energy as opposed to other sources, such as coal.
“The thing about it is you hear the conversation and the narratives which are false – shut down fossil fuels, go with renewables, and, of course, that’s the right direction, but it is impossible to do physically, monetarily, resource-wise.
“That’s where we find ourselves today: that we have to wean ourselves off directionally. But it’s going to take time.”
Loquan admitted carbon emissions are largely responsible for the rise in temperatures and climate patterns. However, he also indicated a disparity between the countries mostly responsible and those suffering the worst consequences.
“You can see the symptoms of extreme weather patterns: heat, flood, famine, drought – but that is a result of emissions.
“(Most of these emissions) are coming from the global north,” he said, identifying the US and Russia, at the expense of southern countries.
He said it is important for citizens to become more energy-conscious.
“We have to be more efficient as a whole, as a country. And in the case of TT, it is even more important because we are gas-short, and if you’re gas-short, it means we can’t afford to just run lights…
“From a sustainability standpoint, we really need to get gas away from electricity. We need to get gas to (the plants) that (generate) foreign exchange and at the same time, we do need to build a system that brings everyone along.”
“The bridge, however, is not a one-year (journey); it is not a decade. In fact, if you talk to an energy company now, like NGC, like Shell, you will hear us talking 50,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Prime Minister said the project represents part of TT’s strategy to “maximise the benefits it receives from oil and natural gas, tap into the economic potential offered by renewable energy, and fulfil its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Dr Rowley said the country is seeking to pursue other renewable-energy projects to offset the natural gas being used for power.