Caribbean energy markets not open enough - study

Monday, June 30, 2014

Caribbean energy markets are not sufficiently liberalized, according to a Caribbean Development Bank study.

"In nearly all countries, monopolies exist and most governments (especially those in the Eastern Caribbean) are finding out that they are locked into long-term energy agreements with mainly foreign-owned utilities," highlights A New Paradigm for Caribbean Development: Transitioning to a Green Economy.

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The study adds, however, that financing poses the biggest challenge. "Governments do not have the fiscal space to take on the high initial capital costs of RE [renewable energy]."

The authors also point out that while authorities are increasingly recognizing the need for energy reform, there is a shortfall of financing, human resource capacity, policy and regulatory frameworks, laws, technology and land allocation.

"Bring land with high strategic RE value into the national land banks if possible," is one recommendation.