Solar power in Trinidad and Tobago

I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning as I went for my morning doubles. Just in time for me to complete this blog post I had lined up. Oil and gas is finite. In addition, we are becoming more environmentally concious. Renewable energy is the future. I read that steady progress is being made at the Piarco Solar Park. It is intended for the Piarco International Airport and will account for 3.5 percent of the electricity used by the airport. A drop in the bucket but we have to start somewhere. I also read that solar power plants at Brechin Castle and Orange Grove, providing 112 megawatts are in the works. The country has set a goal of 30 % renewable energy production by 2030.

What can we do as individuals? There are several companies offering solar panel installations for homes and businesses locally. I imagine there would be opportunity for more solar power businesses to enter the market. Then there are enterprising persons who will choose to do it themselves. A simple thing as solar powered garden lights can make a difference. We have plenty of sunlight in Trinidad and Tobago more than some other parts of the world.

Our electricity locally is currently one of the cheapest in the world and this might discourage persons from going solar. But consider that the rates are under review and could go up. This will be more pronounced for businesses. In some other countries you can earn money by providing your extra solar power electricity to the grid. The government is working on a framework for renewable energy and this will be part of it.

Solar power is a good source of backup power for when the grid fails as example during natural disasters. Also useful for remote and underdeveloped areas. One downside I see to solar power is the amount of batteries required. Hopefully battery tech progresses to be cheaper with bigger capacities. I think in the early stages government will do well to incentivise persons wishing to go solar power as has been done in other countries.


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