Suppliers of renewable energy to the Barbados Light & Power Company have been put on notice.
Minister Responsible for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce this morning cautioned suppliers that compliance with their contractural obligations was essential and they must be ready to pay the costs for failure to do so.
”Apart from regulation and monitoring, compliance will be of the essence. All who expect to participate in this industry, must be prepared to comply with the directive of the regulator and with their contractural obligations, both under their licences, the renewable energy ride, and their power purchase agreements,” Boyce told the opening of the Third Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation Regulatory Forum at Hilton Barbados.
The minister described as particularly important, the maintenance of supply of power as contracted and the preparedness to assume the costs for failure to meet the obligation to supply.
He suggested that while the government wanted to have the local renewable energy industry grow as quickly as it could, it was “very” mindful that fumbles, missteps and tumbles, would undermine the confidence of everyone in the power sector; and that a great deal of these would ruin the industry.
”We are not about to let that happen, and so we will insist on the best regulation we get,” added the minister of energy. ”To this end,” Boyce continued, “government is also seeking help from other governments that have gone this way before, so we are better able to avoid making critical mistakes.”
”We are therefore open to receiving further suggestions for our consideration before we present a final draft to Parliament in October, when the House of Assembly resumes after its summer recess,” pointed out the government parliamentarian.
He admonished all stakeholders to “hasten slowly”, adding that such advice would do the country well, “as we rush to achieve the national objectives for renewable energy. Best practice regulation will help guide us properly at this time, even though we may have to “hasten slowly.”
The Cabinet Minister also announced that the proposed Electric Light and Power Bill, should be presented to Parliament when it resumes next month, following its summer recess. He said government had recently accepted what it believed to be a fair and workable revised draft, but “out of an abundance of care,” it also sent that draft to the utility, the regulator, the Barbados Renewable Energy Association and other current major and potential stakeholders in the emerging renewable energy generation industry.
”While that bill, when passed, will give the power to the Minister Responsible for Energy to issue licences, the bill provides that those licences, with one initial exception, will be issued only on the advice of a technical advisory committee, independent of the minister and only after consultation with the regulator and open hearing,” Boyce declared.
The forum has been examining such issues as the Economics of Best Practice Regulation, Perspectives on the Current Regulatory Environment in the Caribbean and Modelling Legislation for the Regulation of the Caribbean Electric Utility Industry using International Best Practice. (EJ)