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Addressing Renewable Energy Realities and Myths

Addressing Renewable Energy Realities and Myths

Author: GRENLEC Blogger/Wednesday, September 5, 2018/Categories: Main, Renewable Energy, General

There are many myths and misconceptions about renewable energy, especially as it relates to small island nations like Grenada. As our nation transitions to greater use of renewable energy to decrease our dependence on fuel imports, stabilise costs, and reduce our carbon footprint, it’s important to know the facts. 

Myth

Fact

 

1. Renewable energy costs less than fossil fuels.

 

Renewable energy is becoming more cost-competitive with fossil fuels because of advancements in solar and wind technologies. However, despite price decreases in the solar and wind industries, renewable energy is still more expensive than fossil fuels in Grenada. The relatively small scale of renewable projects that can be developed here means higher costs for financing and constructing projects, as well as upgrading existing infrastructure to maintain reliability.

 

That’s why Grenlec maintains a balanced approach to use more renewable energy for the long-term benefits of stabilising electricity costs, reducing fuel imports, and protecting our environment.

 

 

 

2. Integrating more renewable energy sources will immediately drive down prices in Grenada.

 

Transitioning to a diversified energy portfolio with proven technologies requires a thoughtful approach. This approach must balance the cost of maintaining the current infrastructure and accommodating new generating resources without increasing prices, disrupting reliability, or threatening power quality. Lessons can be learned from Germany and other countries, where a large increase in subsidised renewable energy actually increased electricity prices. In Hawaii, grid stability challenges have required rethinking the approach to renewable energy development.

 

 

3. Greater self-generation of electricity will benefit all customers.

 

 

While some customers can afford renewable energy installations at their home or business, there is a large percentage of customers who cannot afford to invest in renewable energy. To avoid burdening these customers with a disproportionate share of the fixed costs to operate the current electrical system, the billing method for renewable energy helps ensure that everyone shares in the cost of maintaining the nation’s electrical system.

 

 

4. Grenada’s renewable energy resources are limitless and can provide 100% of our electricity needs.

 

Grenada has the potential for a variety of clean energy options as part of a diversified energy mix. However, since wind and solar energy are intermittent and dependent upon weather conditions, fossil fuel generation currently ensures reliable electricity supply. While geothermal (heat from the earth) would provide firm capacity, more work is required in this area.

 

 

5. Grenada has abundant land options for renewable energy generation.

 

The availability of suitable land that is conducive to renewable energy generation is a challenge. The absence of large parcels of flat, easily accessible land, land ownership, and access to Crown land have impeded progress on renewable energy projects to date. That’s why Grenlec has pursued a variety of rooftop solar PV installations.

 

 

 

6. Customers who generate their own electricity do not need to use the utility grid.

 

 

The electrical grid is the backbone of reliable electricity service delivery. Customers who have solar panels or wind turbines are connected to the grid so they can receive “backup” electricity service when their own systems cannot generate electricity to meet their needs.

 

7. Renewable energy from the sun, wind and water is free.

 

While the sun, wind and water are natural resources, significant capital investment is required to develop and operate a generating system to capture and convert them into energy. Costs include research and development, plant design and construction, equipment, operations, maintenance, administration and other expenses. To avoid impacting customer rates negatively, Grenlec takes a balanced approach to increasing renewable energy prudently.

 

 

8. Homes and businesses can do little to control energy costs.

 

While Grenlec and Grenada have no control over world fuel prices that have resulted in fluctuating electricity prices, there are many ways that residents and businesses in Grenada can manage electricity costs. Using energy wisely helps customers save money and preserves our natural resources. For ways to save energy, please visit http://grenlec.com/ResourceCentre/ManageYourEnergy.aspx

 

 

Change for the Better

Over the last 20 years, Grenlec has taken the lead in Grenada to build our nation’s world-class, reliable electricity system and increase renewable energy sources.

Together, Grenlec and its customers operate 2.36 megawatt-peak (MWp) of renewable energy systems. Unfortunately, given the regulatory and commercial uncertainty caused by the 2016 Electricity Act (EA) and the 2016 Public Utilities Act (PURCA), Grenlec’s plans for additional significant investments in new solar and wind projects, as well as more customer-owned generation have been stalled.

For more information, please visit  

http://grenlec.com/Blog/TabId/126/ArtMID/657/ArticleID/1187/History-of-Renewable-Energy-in-Grenada.aspx

 

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