Trinidad and Tobago: Energy Resources
|Name||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Energy Consumption||0.89 Quadrillion Btu|
|2-letter ISO code||TT|
|3-letter ISO code||TTO|
|Numeric ISO code||780|
|Energy Maps||0 view|
|Energy Organizations||0 view|
|Research Institutions||0 view|
|CIA World Factbook, Appendix D|
|Wind Potential||Unavailable||Area(km²) Class 3-7 Wind at 50m||N/A||1990||NREL|
|Coal Reserves||Unavailable||Million Short Tons||N/A||2008||EIA|
|Natural Gas Reserves||436,100,000,000||Cubic Meters (cu m)||33||2010||CIA World Factbook|
|Oil Reserves||728,300,000||Barrels (bbl)||42||2010||CIA World Factbook|
Energy Maps featuring Trinidad and Tobago
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Policy and Regulatory Overview 
Household electrification in the country is over 97%. Two 33kV submarine cables link the islands' electricity networks.
Sustainable Energy ProgrammeThe IDB approved, by the end of 2011, a US$60 million loan to help Trinidad and Tobago, a major producer of hydrocarbons, to transition towards a more efficient, sustainable and clean energy matrix.The loan, the first in a programmatic series of three consecutive operations, will strengthen the regulatory and legal framework to contribute to a more sustainable energy sector with a focus on RE, increased efficiency, transparency and accountability. It will support the preparation of new policy and legislation for EE and measures to increase the environmental sustainability of alternative energy fuels such as natural gas and compressed natural gas (CNG). Finally, it will promote efficient and rational production and use of fossil fuels and strengthen institutional capabilities for sustainable energy and public education efforts. By supporting these moves, the program will contribute to T&T’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Under this program, authorities will draft a “Green Paper for Energy and Minerals Policy in Trinidad and Tobago” which will shape the energy sector regulatory framework and will then be submitted to public consultations for feedback. The program includes a series of tax and fiscal incentives for the importation and installation of wind turbines and solar water heaters and for kits used to convert vehicles so they can run on CNG. There will also by incentives for companies to carry out energy audits and implement other energy-efficiency measures. The program will support public education and awareness efforts regarding energy and will help draft a plan for the establishment of a Caribbean Renewable Energy Center, which will help spread cleaner energy principles throughout the region.Energy for Sustainable Development in the CaribbeanTogether with Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia, T&T is also participating in the GEF regional project Energy for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean. The objective of this project is to Transfer and implement sustainable energy policies and instruments to the Caribbean countries, enabling greenhouse gas emission reductions of 20 to 50% by 2033. The project consists of the following components: (i) establish an assessment and monitoring system for EE and RE in buildings; (ii) strengthening of national capacity for EE and RE; (iii) appropriate financial and market based mechanisms that support EE; (iv) demonstration program for sustainable energy; (v) regulatory framework to promote energy efficient buildings and equipment; and (vi) regional public awareness, knowledge management & sharing, replication strategy and reporting.
Green PaperThe Government is currently developing a national energy policy green paper that recognizes RE combined with EE and utilization of compressed natural gas in the transportation sector as important strategies for the promotion of sustainable development of the nation. The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs is currently spearheading a number of initiatives in this regard.
Total installed electricity capacity (2010): 1,829 MWThe country’s peak demand is approximately 1,121 MW. 7% of T&T’s natural gas is utilized directly for power generation. The islands of T&T are connected via a 33-kVA transmission line, which effectively allows Tobago to call on an additional 40-MW of capacity from Trinidad. Between 2003 and 2008, T&T experienced an average annual growth in electricity demand of 4.4%. Consumption increased from 6,088-GWh to 7,544-GWh, during the five year period. The industrial sector consumes the majority of electricity with 64% of total demand, followed by the residential sector with 26% and 10% for the commercial sector. T&T has the lowest retail electricity price in the region (US$0.04-0.05kWh) and at the wholesale, renewable energy competes against T&TEC avoided cost which is approximately US$0.03kWh.Total Primary Energy Supply (2007): 15,282 ktoeNatural Gas: 88.2%Oil and Products: 11.7%Comb. Renew. And Waste: ~0.1%.Total electricity consumption in 2007 was 7,034 billion kWh.The energy sector is a dominant one in Trinidad and Tobago and it plays an important role in the twin-island republic’s economy. In 2008, the share of the energy sector in gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to approximately 48% while contributing 57% to total Government revenue. In that same year, the sector’s share of merchandise exports was 88%, made up mainly of refined oil products including petroleum, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and natural gas liquids.The country is a net exporter of petroleum products while the petroleum sector is the most significant contributor to domestic growth. The growth of the local natural gas based industry has been remarkable and achieved international prominence. As a nation, the shift towards the use of natural gas as its primary means of meeting growing energy demands has been embarked upon in recognition of the need to utilize cleaner energy. Local energy production and consumption have grown significantly in the last few decades and so, despite the increase in the focus on natural gas, local emissions of GHGs such as carbon dioxide continue to grow, with the energy sector being the leading contributor followed by transportation and power-generation.
The RIC ensures that good quality and efficient services are being provided at fair and reasonable costs in Trinidad and Tobago. T&TEC, PowerGen and Trinity Power come under the purview of the RIC. Functions of RIC are:Making recommendations on the award of licences;Monitoring and enforcing compliance with licence conditions;Establishing the principles upon which tariffs will be based and monitoring rates charged to ensure compliance;Prescribing standards for services and monitoring compliance of those standards;Carrying out studies of efficiency and of performance;Facilitating competition between service providers where competition is possible and desirable;Investigating complaints by consumers of their failure to obtain redress from service providers;Imposing and collecting fees for licences; andEnsuring that service providers earn sufficient return to finance necessary investment.
The State-owned Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) has a monopoly on the transmission and distribution of electricity. Almost all electricity is generated from gas-fired power stations. Electricity on the island of Trinidad is produced by three independent power producers: the Power Generation Company (PowerGen) (with a total capacity of 1,344 MW); Trinity Power (225 MW); and Trinidad Generation Unlimited (TGU) (720 MW). PowerGen is majority owned by T&TEC (the other shareholders are MaruEnergy Trinidad LLC (39%) and Amoco Trinidad Power Resources Corporation (10%)). On the island of Tobago, a 64 MW power plant owned by T&TEC was put into operation in October 2009 to replace the existing 21 MW T&TEC diesel power plant. The power producers sell electricity to T&TEC under long-term power sales agreements negotiated with the supplier, T&TEC and the National Energy Commission.
Energy intensity (total primary energy consumption per dollar of GDP) in Trinidad and Tobago has been on an upward trend since the early 1980s, implying that increasing amounts of energy are needed to generate a dollar of GDP in later years relative to earlier years. In absolute terms, energy consumption has been increasing steeply in the industrial and agricultural sectors since 1981, whereas consumption in the residential, commercial and public sectors and the transportation sector have been more or less stable over time.
The T&T energy sector faces a number of important challenges in the medium and long term:volatility of natural gas prices (their most significant hydrocarbon resource);decrease in natural gas consumption of the United States of America (major client);discovery of world-wide natural gas resources in the Middle East, Africa and Russia resulting from more costly extraction technologies;stocks of natural gas reserves in the country projected to be exhausted within the next 10 to 15 years at current extraction rates,and steeper extraction costs for untapped gas potential (such as deep water exploration).Such factors have significant implications for the country’s fiscal situation given that the oil and gas industry provides over 50% of the Government’s revenues..
Renewable Energy CommitteeThe MEEA established the REC on February 13, 2009 to formulate a Renewable Energy Policy Green Paper and promote renewable energy development and usage in Trinidad and Tobago. The Green Paper would be used as a public education tool and would provide a framework for rational decision making by the Government in exploiting and harnessing the country's renewable energy resources.The Environment Management Agency (EMA) is the approval agency for environmental matters
Electricity market The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC, www.ttec.co.tt) is responsible for transmission and distribution of electricity while there are two generation companies namely PowerGen and Trinity, from which T&TEC purchases power that is transmitted and distributed via the national grid. Gas and oil market National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited T&TEC is responsible for procuring natural gas for the generation companies, through a contract with the National Gas Company of Trinidad & Tobago Limited (NGC). The National Gas Company was established in 1975 and plays a key role in the development of the natural gas based energy sector. Petrol market The Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd. (Petrotrin, www.petrotrin.com) is the only fully integrated oil company in Trinidad and Tobago involved in exploration and production on-shore and off-shore, refining, marketing and storage. As a major oil producer in the region, Trinidad and Tobago plays an important role in supplying oil products to other Caribbean countries, mainly for transportation and power generation. According to a report by South Trinidad Chamber of Industry and Commerce (2009), Trinidad and Tobago supplies more than 50% of the primary consumption energy in countries such as Jamaica, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and the Dominican Republic. Trinidad and Tobago energy services and petroleum marketing companies also export contracted services and distribute and retail petroleum products throughout the region.
Degree of independence
The RIC is a consumer-oriented entity with independent regulatory powers and responsibilities. The Board consists of the Chairman and five Commissioners.
At regional level, Trinidad and Tobago through the MEEA is a member of the CREDP which was launched in April 2004 among 12 Caribbean countries and recently its lifespan was extended to 2009. CREDP's mandate is to increase the RE contribution of the regional electricity generation to an estimated 5% by 2015 from 2% approximately in 2004. It is estimated that this increased use of renewable energy will translate into reductions in carbon dioxide emissions of 680,000 tons per annum.Over the years CREDP has provided opportunities for the country to:Interact with its Caribbean counterparts on the development of renewable energy initiatives and lessons to be learnt across the different sources of RE applications and technologies,Obtain first hand information on the particular energy needs in each Caribbean country,Understand and have greater involvement in the development of the various sources of RE for which Trinidad and Tobago have a competitive advantage, for example, solar, wind, ocean currents etc.Pool expertise and resources in a regional effort to develop the Renewable energy industry of the Caribbean to minimize our dependence on fossil fuel, andEnhance local initiatives and expertise from institutions such as UWI, UTT and other to increase the use of RE in the local energy mix.
The energy policies of T&T focus on seven areas as shown in the website of the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs:Local content: promotion of local content and local participation,Renewable energy: development and utilization of renewable energy resources, including solar photovoltaic and thermal energy, wind energy, wave energy and bio-fuels (biomass, biogas, biodiesel and bio-ethanol),Infrastructural development: development of major energy-based infrastructure nergy- nol), – ew. 1,344 MW); facilities,electricity: conversion from gas turbine and steam plants to combined cycle generation of electricity,regional and international initiatives: regional and international relations and cooperation initiatives regarding energy security, pricing, purchasing and transportation,fiscal regime: fiscal regime to promote energy-based investment,LNG: pursuit of new LNG opportunities targeted at the domestic market.With the election of a new government in May 2010, the new authorities have indicated the need to move forward in the reform for a sustainable and cleaner energy matrix that will stimulate the development of RE (such as wind, waste to energy, solar water heaters and photovoltaic (PV) systems), EE and efficient use of fossil fuels as the core elements to maintain long-term sustainability, and as a consequence of the latter, contribute to reducing Green House Gas emissions (GHG).A climate change policy has been drafted and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) is currently conducting public consultations to inform the drafting of an Energy Policy for the country. Elements of the draft energy policy include strategies for carbon reduction and strategies for introducing renewable energy. Plans for implementing mitigation and adaptation strategies to deal with the effects of climate change have been integrated into national planning; recognizing the fact that climate change affects all sectors of the economy and, if not addressed, can retard steps towards future development.In the report ‘‘A New Policy for Energy, 2011–2015’’ energy efficiency, conservation and management initiatives are given central roles within renewable energy, NG utilization and pricing, and carbon reduction strategies. In the preface of a report of the Energy Research and Planning Division for the renewable energy policy for T&T, it is stated that ‘‘Local energy demand for this finite resource [NG] is on the increase, making conservation paramount. This could be reasonably addressed by utilization of RE resources, increasing EE, decreasing energy demand and the use of alternative fuels in the transportation sector.’’ The report concludes with the statement ‘‘Noteworthy however, is that practical solutions for improving energy efficiency are essential to complement renewable energy programmes’’.
Trinidad and Tobago is the main exporter of oil in the Caribbean region and the main producer of liquefied natural gas in Latin America and the Caribbean. The role of the country’s energy sector is, therefore, not limited to serving as the engine of growth for the national economy but also includes providing energy security for the small island developing States of the Caribbean. However, with its hydrocarbon-based economy, Trinidad and Tobago is ranked seventh in the world in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per capita, producing an estimated 40 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Almost 90% of these CO2 emissions are attributed directly to the energy sector through petrochemical production (56%), power generation (30%) and flaring (3%).
Role of the government
The electricity sub-sector in Trinidad and Tobago previously was under the purview of the Ministry of Public Utilities. In 2001, responsibility for this sector shifted to the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEAA).The MEEA is responsible for the monitoring, control and regulation of the energy and mineral industries (Act #46, 1969). It is also involved in policy making and implementation. However, the most important decision making body is the Cabinet Standing Committee on Energy. This ad hoc committee is comprised of 10 Ministers of Government, senior technocrats from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning, and the Chairmen and Chief Executives of the energy sector state enterprises, including NGC, NEC, Petrotrin and T&TEC.
The institutional framework for the management of the electricity sector is defined in two pieces of legislation: The Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission Ordinance No. 42 of 1945, and the RIC Act No. 26 of 1998, establishing the respective bodies and their responsibilities in law.
A major challenge to the promotion of RE relates to subsidized domestic energy product prices which makes it difficult for RE (with high upfront costs) to compete in the local scenario. This has also militated against energy efficiency and contributes to wastage.
Regulation of the power sector is in the hands of the Regulated Industries Commission (RIC), a statutory body established under the Regulated Industries Act of 1998. The Commission came into being in 2000, replacing the Public Utilities Commission, which performed a comparable function since its establishment in 1966.http://www.ric.org.tt
Development and use of renewable energy sources are still in their embryonic stages in Trinidad and Tobago. Although, it has been acknowledged that some of the more commercial areas of renewable energy, which are applicable to the Caribbean region in general and to Trinidad and Tobago in particular, are solar energy – thermal and photovoltaic, wind, wave, and to a lesser extent, biomass.Solar energyWith an average global horizontal irradiance of 5.5-6.0 kWh/m2/day, Trinidad and Tobago are well suited for application of solar technologies, both thermal and photovoltaic. Possible applications include solar crop drying and use in water heating, as well as for electricity generation.Wind energyGovernment officials have recently stated the nation's interest in exploiting the potential wind resource of the island. Mean annual wind speeds over the country are not as high as some of the country's Caribbean neighbours, but are still serviceable.HydropowerNo study has been conducted as to the traditional hydro-electric potential of the country, although wave power has been proposed as a source of energy for the islands.Biomass energyThe Government is currently investigating the use of biomass energy as a potential source of electricity, however, applications are said to be limited due to the scarceness of agricultural land and water in the country.Geothermal energyWhilst the country's oil industry is indirectly involved with geothermal energy through its assistance to the Kittitian/Nevisean geothermal market, development of potential geothermal sources in the country has been ruled out by the Government.
- Trinidad and Tobago-Climate Technology Initiative Private Financing Advisory Network (CTI PFAN)
- Trinidad and Tobago-EU-UNDP Low Emission Capacity Building Programme (LECBP)
- Trinidad and Tobago-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy
- Trinidad and Tobago-Regional Implementation Plan for CARICOM’s Climate Change Resilience Framework
- Trinidad and Tobago-Building Capacity for Innovative Policy NAMAs
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