Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, Stuart Young, has welcomed the opportunity to connect with key industry players, as he spoke during the opening of the Energy Chamber’s virtual Energy Conference this morning.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Leading the Caribbean’s Energy Transition”.
Young said that in the transition there will be triumphs and casualties and as an oil and gas economy, Trinidad and Tobago is vulnerable.
He said “Small Island Developing States such as in the Caribbean are minute contributors of greenhouse gases but have been bearing the brunt of the worst effects of climate change. Caribbean countries will need support from the international community to confront the “perfect storm” that is looming due to heavy indebtedness and liquidity challenges, vulnerability to climate change, and high expenditures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Young added that Trinidad and Tobago, as a net exporter of oil and gas, is cognizant of the impact of greenhouse gases on the climate. As a result, the Government has undertaken a number of measures aimed at mitigating the impact of greenhouse gases. In the transportation sector, CNG has been actively promoted as it produces fewer harmful emissions than gasoline. In the power generation sector, we have started the transition to green energy with the planned introduction of new capacity from solar energy and there are plans to utilize excess power in the system to produce hydrogen from electrolysis. This is in addition to incentives provided for the adoption of solar energy by households and enterprises.”
Young also touched on key issues like energy conservation.
He said “Energy conservation has also been an important element in Government’s strategy in reducing the country’s carbon footprint. Government has provided a financial incentive in the form of rebate on electricity bills to encourage conservation by households and has been actively promoting the change-out of conventional lighting to LED lighting.”
“Trinidad and Tobago must adapt to this irreversible change or be left behind. Within the energy sector, there are four main elements to the low-carbon transition: low-carbon power generation, reducing/elimination of oil in transport, improving energy efficiency, and reducing emissions from industrial processes,” he said.
“As the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, I have started a process of engagement with all upstream stakeholders to determine what is required to bring on stream or to exploit in the shortest time frame all sanctioned and unsanctioned projects and prospective resources. My focus at this juncture is the engagement of the upstream companies to achieve the approval of all unsanctioned projects in the shortest possible time. In this regard, the Ministry is currently in advanced negotiations with Shell Trinidad and Tobago Limited on the terms and conditions of the Production Sharing Contract for the Manatee Field for which the recoverable natural gas reserves are estimated at 1.8 tcf. Subject to the completion of the negotiations and approval of Cabinet, I hope to make an announcement shortly on this project.”
Young added, “As a Government, we have always been in the forefront of change in the energy sector of Trinidad and Tobago. We welcome, embrace and overcome challenges. The adaptation to the transition to a low carbon economy is major undertaking. However, we are confident that the transition is achievable and, in our journey, we look forward to the co-operation and collaboration of our energy stakeholders, many of whom are aligned with the Government in the transition to a low carbon economy.”