The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is currently developing a national energy policy green paper that recognizes renewable energy's (RE) combined with energy efficiency (EE) and utilization of compressed natural gas in the transportation sector, inter-alia, as important strategies for the promotion of sustainable development of the nation. The Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs is currently spearheading a number of initiatives in this regard.
A major challenge to the promotion of RE relates to subsidized domestic energy product prices which makes it difficult for RE (with high upfront costs) to compete in the local scenario. This has also militated against energy efficiency and contributes to wastage. To address these and other barriers and create a platform for development over the long term, the following are the principal measures/instruments being employed.
Collaboration/cooperation at the regional/international level is essential in moving forward with plans and programmes and such collaboration that is currently taking place includes: ongoing collaboration with the CARICOM on the promotion of CARICOM Energy Week (in November 2011); collaboration with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) on the greening of 2 community centers to incorporate RE and EE technologies and systems; collaboration with the UNEP/Riso Center in training on the CDM mechanism and in identifying a pipeline of projects for CDM funding; and, collaboration with the US DOE on the establishment of a Regional RE Research Center in Trinidad and Tobago - an MOU to effect this has been developed and this document is expected to be signed in the near future.