The mandate of the Energy Research and Planning Division (ERPD) is to support the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries and the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the development of its energy sector programmes viz:
The Division has the responsibility for the following areas:
The ERPD is responsible for the forecasting of energy sector trends, building scenarios for the evaluation of industry performance and future direction, and undertaking research in the course of preparation of reports, papers, technical briefs, responses to Questions Raised in Parliament, as well as reports and/or speeches for the Minister and other Government Agencies.
The Division provides reports to Cabinet on a wide range of activities in the energy sector including trends in production, price and usage of crude oil and natural gas, major developments in energy sector projects, and on the financial performance of State Energy Companies. The information is used to inform decision making at the Ministerial level. The preparation of the these reports require the maintenance of a database on petrochemical, oil, and gas prices, production and usage volumes, progress on downstream projects, review and analysis of international energy sector trends, and collection and analysis of information on the financial performance of State Energy Companies.
The ERPD responds to the data needs of various local and international agencies including, the Ministry of Finance, Central Statistical Office, Central Bank, CARICOM, International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) and Caribbean Energy Information System (CEIS). The ERPD continuously updates its database for ease of access and speedy response to stakeholders.
Duty Free Licences are issued annually to companies within the Oil and Gas Industry that hold either Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) or Exploration and Production licence for any marine block within the jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago. They are issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, following a recommendation from the ERPD.
Export Licences are issued for the export of Natural Gas Liquids (NGL’s) and refined products by the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the recommendation of the ERPD.
The Division is responsible for the preparation and submission of the Ministry’s Annual Administrative Report in accordance with statutory regulations to the President and Parliament and other stakeholders. The Administrative Report provides details on the operations and activities of the Ministry by fiscal year.
The ERPD manages the secretariat of the Standing Committee on Energy (SCE) for which the Ministry is responsible. The SCE is chaired by the Honourable Prime Minister and strategic policy decisions regarding important issues and developments in the energy sector of Trinidad and Tobago are discussed at this forum. In fulfilling this function the ERPD provides logistical support for meetings of the SCE, prepares minutes of all meetings, disseminates decisions and other relevant information to internal and external stake holders, prepares related Cabinet Notes and take follow-up action on decisions taken at meetings.
The ERPD is responsible for the chairmanship and secretariat of the Cabinet appointed Permanent Local Content Committee (PLCC) which comprise representatives from several private sector organizations, including the South Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the representative body for the energy services sector. This committee is responsible for the development of the mandate of Cabinet to support the implementation of the Government’s Local Content and Local Participation policy and framework. The Division is the focal point for local energy services sector. The Division organizes meetings of the PLCC, prepares minutes of all PLCC meetings, disseminates decisions and other relevant information to internal and external stakeholders, and takes follow-up action on decisions taken at PLCC meetings as required.
The Government has established a Committee to prepare a Draft Renewable Energy Policy Framework for Trinidad and Tobago to serve to guide the formulation of a policy framework and legislation for the development of renewable energy in Trinidad and Tobago. The Committee is chaired by the Director, ERPD with the Division being responsible for the provision of secretariat support. The objective of the Policy is to provide optimum growth and development of the country’s renewable energy resources, maximization of opportunities for clean energy and clean production and the development of a culture for energy efficiency and conservation.
The ERPD has been involved in a pilot Solar Water Heating Project for Host Homes, in conjunction with the Trinidad Host Homes Association (THHA) and Tobago Bed and Breakfast Association (TBBA) and a study for the development of a pholotvoltaic industry in Trinidad and Tobago. The Division is the focal point for the Caribbean Regional Energy Development Programme (CREDP) and related regional Renewable Energy (RE) programmes in the Caribbean.
The ERPD is also assigned the responsibility to represent the Ministry on the Work Permit Committee and advise and make recommendations on applications for work permits related to the energy sector. This function also involves the setting up of a database to identify and record critical skills within the sector and attendance at the meetings of the Committee.