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St. Kitts & Nevis Government Hosts Regional Electricity Regulations Workshop

Published 11 March 2024

Buckie Got It, St. Kitts and Nevis News Source

St. Kitts & Nevis Government Hosts Regional Electricity Regulations Workshop

The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, along with the Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) and the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), will host a workshop on electricity regulations in small island states within the Caribbean from March 12-14 at the Marriott Resort Frigate Bay. ​

The workshop, entitled “Right-sizing Electricity Regulations in Small Island States within the Caribbean: How Far, How Fast?” aims to address the challenges faced by small island states in the Caribbean regarding energy insecurity, limited access to energy resources, outdated power plants and infrastructure, and deteriorating grid systems. ​

Workshop organizer Dr Devon Gardner, Head of Technical Programmes at the CCREEE, said that two waves of regulatory reform had taken place in the electricity sector, with the first wave focusing on introducing competition and private sector involvement in a sector traditionally dominated by the state. The second wave focused on establishing independent regulatory oversight for the sector independent of elected officials. The appropriateness of both these waves is debatable for small island states. ​

According to Dr. Gardner, “There is, therefore, a need for country-appropriate regulatory structures. The workshop will highlight this and the importance of independent regulation to facilitate the integration of renewable energy and attract investment. ​ The workshop also addresses challenges such as limited human capacity and the risk of regulatory capture in small island states. ​

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Utilities, St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr Daryll Lloyd, said that the objectives of the workshop include providing participants with a clear understanding of fit-for-purpose regulations for the integration of renewable energy, identifying the capacities required for regulatory functions, and developing roadmaps for the establishment of independent regulatory agencies. ​

“The expected outcomes of the workshop include promoting forward-looking discussions on regulatory structures and opportunities for regulatory oversight, as well as designing roadmaps for establishing independent regulatory agencies in specific participating countries,” Mr Lloyd said. ​

 The targeted participants are government ministers, senior officials, and regulators from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) territories. ​ ​

The workshop is financially supported by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom and receives technical support from the Fair Trading Commission in Barbados and the Office of Utilities Regulation in Jamaica. ​

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