Utility Leaders Workshop
Agenda to be posted on the Utility Leaders Workshop page.
CREF 2018 will be laser focused on resiliency, bringing the market together to discuss how changing weather patterns are reshaping the approach to investment in generation, transmission and distribution assets in the Caribbean. How are the hardest hit islands rebuilding with resiliency in mind? Are centralized or distributed electric grids the best path forward? How has the utility approach to investment evolved?
Delegates will also hear from regional and industry leaders on other critical themes facing the Caribbean including:
Interested in speaking? Please submit a speaker application here no later than July 12!
Agenda to be posted on the Utility Leaders Workshop page.
Gathering senior officials and utility executives from the islands which were hit hardest last year by Irma and Maria, this session will define the current status of recovery and rebuild on an island-by-island basis, and address the following:
On the occasion of CREF’s 10th Anniversary, a sweeping discussion designed to reflect on how far we’ve come, and to set the compass for the decade ahead. Ten years ago the Caribbean was powered by diesel; today, the mix – solar, storage, wind, gas – is diverse. What were the catalysts for transformation and how much, ultimately, was defined by economics? Priorities have changed, too. Cost and reliability are still vital, but driving the agenda today are discussions around energy independence and resiliency. As we look back, what can we learn and what would we do differently? What are the big decisions facing energy leaders today? What advances and technologies are coming down the pipe which will transform the region in the years ahead?
CREF launches the 2018 CREF-Castalia Renewable Energy Index, which ranks countries on overall investability in clean energy. Castalia will present the index and marketplace, followed by a robust discussion around project bankability and what’s lacking in projects that aren’t getting funded.
CREF 2018 Project Award Announcements
Through the lens of the destructive 2016 and 2017 hurricane seasons, how has the utility approach to investment in energy infrastructure evolved? Have procurement processes and standards changed? How should utilities balance affordability vs. resiliency? What does resiliency mean to utilities, policymakers, private sector, and consumers? What support role could and should government agencies and international NGOs play? What other entities should the utility be coordinating with on planning for extreme weather events?
Jamaica presents an interesting example for the relationship between major sector stakeholders, including the utility, regulator and government. Panelists will explore how Jamaica has reshaped its energy matrix over the past decade, including how has the island succeeded in attracting large-scale investments into renewables? What more needs to be done and what does the future look like for Jamaica?
As islands think about resiliency for electric grids, should they maintain traditional centralized models or transition to a distributed model with smaller scale systems? Panelists will debate the merits of each, why they are pursuing the structure they’ve chosen, what are the factors for flexibility, ease of system deployment, and cost? Concerns of loss of economies of scale?
Against the backdrop of a growing portfolio of storage projects across the Caribbean, the time is ripe to assess whether best practices are emerging. Which islands have led the way in terms of a successful procurement process? Where is the regulatory support for storage best supporting storage? How are utilities making decisions in terms of which technologies to procure? Focus on: Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Microgrids are the flavor of the day, but as they proliferate, how can policies be developed to encourage smart growth of microgrids (i.e., deployment in valuable locations) and attract innovative investors? How should islands be thinking about the regulation of microgrids? How do microgrids participate in the market when not utility-owned?
A year after Maria battered an already financially precarious Puerto Rico, how has the landscape for investment in generation and infrastructure evolved? How will plans to privatize PREPA shape the future of the market, and how is the regulatory commission influencing these plans? What are the investment opportunities for solar, storage, microgrids and beyond?
How are islands thinking about the economics of resiliency, and what are the tools to finance a resilient energy matrix? What financial incentives should be available to attract the private sector? What standards should be implemented, and what is the role for donors and lenders? Should islands have hurricane recovery funds?
As the region has implemented renewable energy auctions, have best practices emerged? How are islands finding the right balance between lowest cost vs. speculative bidding? What has the experience been for developers and investors?
Our expert panel will discuss the potential for blockchain to modernize the energy industry, why it is important, and why the utility industry should care. What could it look like in the next year, and five years down the road?
Energy companies are increasingly finding themselves the target of cybersecurity attacks. Are Caribbean utilities ready? Panelists will share utility cybersecurity best practices and discuss how advanced energy must be accompanied by a robust cybersecurity plan.
In the new geopolitical reality, has Cuba kept its ambitious plans for investment in renewables on track? How is the renewables boom in the Dominican Republic playing out? Who is building? Who is financing? What are the challenges and how are they being met?
Several islands have introduced pilot programs on their islands, but with EVs predicted to reach cost parity in the next five years, should they be forging ahead? How can investments in EVs be prioritized? What are the challenges for the Caribbean and how can they prepare for an EV market? Are utilities and governments exploring the synergies between energy and transportation sectors, including energy sector planning?
Several international entities have entered the Caribbean renewables market, but how real are these initiatives? Programs have the potential to transform the regional energy system, including a US$8 billion Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition program and China's Belt and Road initiative, with upwards of £3 trillion earmarked for investment in the LAC region. How is the Caribbean engaging with these initiatives? Which islands and sectors stand to benefit and how can they take advantage?
How are utilities thinking about operation and ownership of solar and storage? What are the regulatory impacts of utility-owned vs. private developer-owned? What can we learn from MTRs in Puerto Rico?
The global LNG market is growing, costs are falling, and the market is more dynamic now with gas being traded and sold on the spot market. What do the economics look like for the Caribbean? Are new innovations carving out a role for LNG in the region? Is it emerging as a competitor for solar and storage?
This session will examine innovative business models and technological advancements that promote solar energy growth in the C&I sector. Panelists will discuss how projects can be structured to attract investors and review successful models in the region.
In a new era of solar and storage and microgrids, what's the role for geothermal? What challenges and risks still lie ahead for projects in the region? Will multilateral support ultimately lead to a robust geothermal sector?
Which islands are leading the charge in stimulating investment in energy efficiency? What is the role for financial institutions, multilaterals, etc.? What is the role for energy efficiency in resiliency planning? Governments will share best practices new opportunities for investment.
As renewable energy proliferates, so does the risk of NIMBYism as land is increasingly used for project development. What are the best practices for permitting and involving community in the decision-making process? What role should government play?