BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE Government of National Unity is pushing moving steam ahead to bolster the energy sector, as considering is given to the establishment of an Energy Unit to oversee and make critical decisions for the country.
This announcement was made during the recent sitting of the National Assembly by Minister of Energy Ian Liburd, who said that the new agency will be tasked with the responsibility of annually reviewing and revising the various national energy policies, and take the necessary steps for energy regulation.
“We will establish our Energy Unit. This Energy Unit will help the Ministry to establish renewable energy policies, incentive measures, action plans and energy related regulations.”
Additionally, the Unit will be the authority overseeing the “Utility Sector” with its main priority being to monitor the operations and maintenance task of all utility companies in the federation.
The establishment of this Department comes on the heels of the government pushing its Geothermal exploration to alleviate St. Kitts’ dependency on fuel based energy.
The government is currently exploring Geothermal as a source of alternative energy following the high debt accumulated for fuel under the PetroCaribe agreement.
The Energy Unit is also tasked with the responsibility to advise the government on improving the emission of Carbon Dioxide, through a sound energy saving data base and statistical information.
“In relation to renewable energy this unit will also advise the ministry in respect to establishing a sound system for renewable energy development, including a policy framework, action plans and incentive measures and feeding tariffs and other mechanism.”
Minister Liburd pointed out that the agency will also play a critical role in advising the government on the human skills required for a number of renewable energy programmes coming on stream shortly.
“It will be in charge of advising the Ministry in regards to the human capacity in the various lines of renewable energy, such as solar, wind, waste to energy, biomass and off course geothermal.”