Hosted by The Brattle Group, with the support of the UK FCO, the CREF 2015 utility workshop will provide utilities and governments with key insights into the implications for high renewable penetrations on island grids. The presenters will explore how utilities can mitigate the potential downside and look at models to generate potential upside. The workshop will explore, inter alia:
Exploring the Economic Implications of High Renewable Penetration Scenarios
· Higher capital cost and lower operational cost
· Increased ancillary services to balance the intermittency
· Challenge to recover higher fixed costs and lower variable costs through rates or other mechanisms
Utility Implementation Models
Incorporating variables such as risk hedging, policy environment and mitigation options, and different customer groups (i.e., low income customers), the workshop will explore:
· Options and approaches to tariff re-design
· Alternatives to tariff redesign, such as rebates
· Introducing tariff redesign to the customer base; exploring best practice.
· Alternative regulatory models compared to the traditional cost of service model
There is no fee for governments and utilities to attend; the fee for all other delegates is $400.
Courted by the world’s superpowers, pursued by a bevy of donor organizations, and challenged by a fractured and volatile global energy market, Caribbean policy-makers have their hands full. In CREF’s annual blue ribbon session, regional leaders will gather to discuss the reality behind the rhetoric and the challenges of framing long-term energy security in a world full of political and economic uncertainty. The Roundtable will also assess the implications of COP21. Distraction? Or opportunity to access significant climate mitigation funding for the region?
Against a backdrop of global price volatility, how are Caribbean governments and utilities staking out long-term positions on investment in energy generation? How is that volatility impacting the environment for investment in renewables? What strategies are utilities deploying to mitigate the unpredictability of external market conditions? Are governments and utilities in lockstep as decisions are reached impacting long-term energy security?
BMR Energy (36 MW Wind), WRB Energy (20 MW Solar PV) and Wigton Windfarm (24 MW Wind) emerged victorious from Jamaica’s 2012 renewable RFP. All three secured PPAs from JPS and are in varying – but advanced – stages of development. What can the region learn from Jamaica’s RFP & PPA process? More broadly, how does JPS view prospects for increased renewable generation and how closely does that align with government objectives? How does natural gas fit into Jamaica’s evolving energy matrix?
As the pipeline of projects across the Caribbean deepens, so does the need to draw equity capital into a market that has historically been supported largely by debt provided by the multilaterals. This session will explore private equity perspectives on the bankability of regional projects. Are sovereign and off-taker risk factors a significant issue and how can they be mitigated? How can we catalyze the flow of private capital to SMEs seeking funding for regional projects? How can governments and multilaterals help draw private capital to the table?
While the growth in investment in both utility scale and distributed generation has picked up in recent years, the Dominican Republic’s potential remains largely untapped. For the uninitiated, the Dominican Republic remains challenging to navigate; for capable and patient investors, however, there is real scale and opportunity in this market. This session will map out the current environment for electricity generation, explore public and private sector perspectives on opportunities for increased utility scale and distributed generation, and debate what we can be done to accelerate the pace of investment.
The extent of the opportunity for renewables development in the Caribbean doesn’t correlate to the pipeline of projects which remains relatively meagre. Are we any closer to addressing the historical bottlenecks? How do leading developers view the market and how strong is their appetite for engagement? How can developers help shape a fully functional enabling environment? Are developers increasingly focusing on opportunities in the commercial and industrial segment? How can we catalyze that market? This session will also feature the launch of the 2015 CREF/Castalia Project Marketplace, a unique database of regional renewable projects currently in development.
From Guadeloupe to the USVI and Bonaire, some Caribbean islands are pushing the envelope in terms of grid integration of renewables. How is this impacting grid stability? What challenges are incumbent utilities confronting? Is storage part of the story already – or about to be? How is this shaping grid investment strategy?
The excitement is palpable; the opportunity substantial. A sound understanding, however, of the dynamics of the Cuban energy market still lags. Facilitated by the Government of Canada, this session will cast light on the structure of the market, opportunities, and barriers to entry.
Drawing on the experience of the Canadian public and private sectors, this session will analyze region-wide opportunities for investment and the barrier to entry for private sector entities seeking to engage in the regional renewable sector. What can we learn from the experience of existing investors in the region? What new funding tools are available for private sector entities seeking to engage in the region? Substantial private sector-oriented funds, e.g. the Canadian Climate Fund (C2F), exist for precisely this purpose; are they deploying funds in the region and if so on what terms? Is commercial debt now on the table and available?
Official launch of the Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean (SEEC) Programme co-financed by the Caribbean Development Bank, EU Caribbean Investment Facility (EU-CIF) and UK Department of International Development (DFID).
As islands transform their regulatory environments and map out the terms of interconnection to national grids, so attention is increasingly turning towards opportunities for large-scale roll out of renewables development, largely PV, amongst Caribbean commercial and industrial entities. Which markets present the greatest opportunities? What do C&I customers need in terms of education & financing? How significant for the development of the market is the absence of ESCos across the region? Where can we point to success stories?
Region-wide, clean transportation is rising to the top of the political agenda. What tools do regional governments have to incentivize the penetration of clean transportation? How closely does the utility need to be engaged in policy measures? Where should responsibility of government for the financing of infrastructure transfer to the private sector? Should government mandate penetration objectives? Are PPPs the way forward to catalyze investment?
30 years after Guadeloupe opened the Bouillante plant, the Caribbean is still waiting for the next wave of geothermal generation. With fresh sources of funding flowing from the multilaterals, and with St. Kitts and St. Vincent & Grenadines joining Dominica, Nevis, Montserrat & St. Lucia in the hunt for a landmark geothermal project, is there cause for optimism? Do we have workable solutions to upfront risk mitigation and long-term financing? How are the donors & multilaterals shaping the process? Are Caribbean projects lacking in scale and too small to attract the right developers?
Some are resistant to change, others are embracing; all agree that this is a watershed period for the U.S. utility industry. The economics may be different, but the paradigm is broadly the same. Are renewables an existential threat or opportunity for U.S. – and Caribbean – utility companies? This session will explore various approaches to the deployment of renewables by Florida utilities and will seek to extrapolate policy, regulatory and business practices which may have real-world application in the Caribbean.
Caribbean utilities are aggressively exploring – and in some cases actively investing in – smart grid technology. What are the economics and how are utilities weighing the investment against the demand response upside? Given the increasingly high penetration of renewables, is the question not “if” but “when”? What role do microgrids have a role to play in the future of regional grid stability? What are other applications for microgrids in the Caribbean?
In the wake of the announcement in 2014 of funding for the DCNS/Akuo OTEC “NEMO” project in Martinique, islands from Aruba to Barbados are actively exploring offshore generation options. Given the technical and regulatory hurdles, and the levelized costs vs. wind and solar, why are offshore options gaining traction? What of hybrid land-based solutions? Is SWAC still on the regional menu? Should the region be considering state-of-the-art heat recovery systems (ORC) which capture energy in seawater? The session will rigorously explore what’s credible, and what’s not.
The Caribbean is well beyond the theory of storage and is increasingly well versed in the practice. From within the region, markets from Aruba and Bonaire to Puerto Rico can speak to the successes – and failures – of economic and technical approaches to storage; from without the region, we can also draw on the experience of markets such as Baja California and Kauai. Exploring lessons learned from regional and international implementation.
With support from the World Bank, Carbon War Room, Clinton Climate Initiative and partners, the Government of Saint Lucia and LUCELEC are moving forward a process which will fundamentally change the energy sector in Saint Lucia – adding renewable energy, changing the policy and regulatory framework and enabling new generation partnerships. Beyond the framework, how are the Government and LUCELEC taking action to make this a reality? Through an integrated approach to resource planning that simultaneously investigates the economics, energetics, and regulatory processes to enable successful energy transitions, the Government and LUCELEC have embarked on a transition planning process that ensures the core needs of the system—reliability, sustainability, and financial viability—are met to create a pathway for projects to be developed. This session explores the inclusive and iterative process and the supporting roles partners are playing to achieve a new and dynamic energy pathway in Saint Lucia.
Affordable access to energy: a simple concept but elusive in Haiti, particularly among the rural population. With a fractured grid and a challenged political system, there is no overnight solution. Donor commitment to Haiti remains, however, strong – commitment backed up by substantial capital. Led by the World Bank Group, this session will gather key government, utility and private sector stakeholders to present public sector perspectives on the future of Haiti’s energy matrix and private sector perspectives on investment and the development of distributed and utility scale renewables.
International support for energy security in the Caribbean continues to be strong, just as island capacity to absorb programs and funding remains limited. Increasingly Caribbean jurisdictions are seeking a responsive relationship from donor organizations and partners, one which which reflects national rather than developmental objectives. International funding remains vital, no less so Caribbean sovereignty over energy security issues. How do we achieve the right balance and where can we point to success stories?