ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (GIS) -- The government of Grenada is continuing in its efforts to liberalize the electricity sector in an attempt to reduce the high cost of energy, which has been a challenge to national development.
Communications and Works Minister Gregory Bowen
The liberalization of the sector has been making the rounds at the ongoing constituency forums put on by the government. The forums are designed to solicit what government officials say is the valuable input of nationals in the construct of the new economy.
Communications and Works Minister Gregory Bowen said that a serious attempt to buy out the 61% share of WRB Enterprises in the Grenada Electricity Company (GRENLEC) did not happen because of the high price it was asking. But he indicated that it does not matter whether WRB goes or stays in the country, because government is changing the electricity landscape by opening up the sector to provide competition, which will lower the cost of the commodity.
“I want to tell you that government is committed to opening up the electricity sector, so that you can get competition in the generation of electricity,” he said, indicating that the government is moving to liberalize the sector as was done with telecommunications.
“We are not asking WRB to leave they can stay and run the company; but that has nothing to do with other generating companies coming,” Bowen pointed out.
The minister foresees positive developments as a result, indicating that he is expecting the advent of generating companies providing renewable energy with the development of solar panels and other systems.
Bowen challenged the current situation where people especially in the south, who have solar panel systems, are required to pass the electricity generated to GRENLEC, before it is sold back to them.
“The mechanism will be changed. The regulatory body will determine how much they purchase from you and at what price,” he said, stating that legislation has been enacted across the Eastern Caribbean with the formation of (ECERA) the Eastern Caribbean Electricity Regulatory Authority, to regularize the operations of electricity in the OECS.
“It doesn’t matter if WRB goes or stays; they will have to abide by the rules, just as we did with the telecommunications sector,” Bowen said.