PetroCaribe Solution: Integrating Renewables in the Caribbean

PetroCaribe Solution: Integrating Renewables in the Caribbean

Former Venezuelan  President Mr. Hugo Chávez

The recent death of Venezuelan President Mr. Hugo Chávez has sparked concerns across the Caribbean and Latin America Energy sectors. It has been forecast that cheap Venezuelan oil which once flooded our shores are no longer expected to at the rate it did during Mr. Chávez ‘s 14 year tenure under the PetroCaribe deal. The agreement which was initiated in 2005 provided more than a dozen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with oil and requiring only 5%-50% of the market value to be paid up front; the remainder can be paid through a 17-25 year financing agreement with 1% interest [1]. Last year, Jamaica’s energy bill was US$2.6 billion, an increase of US$200m over the previous year. Without the PetroCaribe agreement another US$600m increase can be expected on Jamaica’s oil import bill each year to finance oil importation from another nation [2].

It is never my intention to highlight a problem without presenting a practical solution. Now more than ever Jamaica and the Caribbean needs to diversify its energy sources and an Offshore Wind Farm is the most suitable alternative at this point, capable of reliably supplying Renewable Energy to our islands. Not only will this aid our economy and manufacturing industry by allowing consumers pay less for electricity monthly but this will also reduce oil importation and our lifeline dependency on the imported commodity. The Caribbean need to Put the Wind to work and reduce energy generation from old, inefficient, costly fossil fuel plants. Liquified Natural Gas or LNG is by no means the solution! Jamaica does not have the gas needed to power an Natural Gas power plant, this option will only redirect us to our importation past. We need a solution that looks beyond the next 3 years, we need a solution that will power our country and move our economy forward. Wind turbines on the other hand and not just any wind turbine but wind turbines in the sea will produce consistent, reliable power for residents and factories from the vast amount of wind blowing across the Caribbean sea. 100%Renewable Jamaica is a feasible goal which our island needs to start working towards intensively since Jamaica is considered one of the most expensive and inefficient energy producer in the region.

Columbus Network, Caribbean Connection. Solar and Wind Energy should be interconnected to reduce cost and increase reliability


You might also be interested in: 5 Tips to Lower Your Monthly Electricity Bil

Exporting Electricity, building the Caribbean

The close proximity between Caribbean countries makes energy transfer a viable market for large producers. Utilizing sub-sea connection lines similar to those employed in the telecommunication industry, energy can be transmitted from one island to the other in a hearbeat. This is a great market for Jamaica if we position our selves appropriately and considering the fact that Cuba, one of the most dependent nations on PetroCaribe, is less than 150 km from Jamaica’s north coast. If Jamaica is serious about nation building, a major source of income for our country could be realized by peppering the sea with wind turbines and exporting energy to Cuba who would be more than willing to purchase all the energy we can provide to offset the impact of a failed PetroCaribe agreement. Jamaica stands to earn millions annually by exporting renewable energy to neighboring islands. The basic economics for setting up an offshore wind farm and the payback from such a venture can be found in the article: Funding an offshore wind farm.

The Caribbean can stop importing oil for electricity generation if we integrate renewable energy plant

Interconnecting renewable energy sites across the Caribbean will increase the reliability of such systems. Consider a solar plant in Guyana, interconnected with an offshore wind farm in Jamaica, a Waste-to-Energy plant in Trinidad and Tobago and a Hydro plant in Antigua. The diversity in locations provides a 3 fold increase in the reliability of the supply thus highly improbable that wind will stop blowing in Jamaica, sun stop shining in Guyana and water stop flowing in Antigua and garbage not being collected in Barbados and all happening simultaneously. The islands will also be able to capitalize on mass generation which will further lower the cost of energy. This Caribbean integrated Renewable Energy approach will significantly drive the cost of energy down to about 10-15 cents per kilo watt from the average 30 cent per kilo watt across the region (40 cent in Jamaica).


What PetroCaribe did and has been doing for the past eight years is something that the Caribbean can do for itself using renewable energy. The greater the production capacity of a wind farm or a solar plant the cheaper the resultant cost per kilo watt becomes. Should Mr. Chávez likely opponent, the more conservative Henrique Capriles take the presidency, the PetroCraibe deal for many could be in jeopardy. Capriles who lost to Chávez in the last election made his opposition to Chevez’s policies of ‘giving away Venezuelan oil’ very clear and something he would discontinue if he should take over the presidency of the country[3]. This is not the appropriate time for the Caribbean to sit and watch patiently for election results or await post-election deliberation on the energy deal. Instead we should be proactive and start preparing for the worst case scenario by getting teams together to prepare a Renewable Energy map for the Caribbean starting today. With under water cables and tunnels currently connecting almost all Caribbean islands for broadband communication, the Caribbean can survive without PetroCaribe if energy integration is seriously and strategically chartered by the islands in the region.

Tweet Follow @KimroyBailey

Share this post

Comments (9)

  • Florida villa rentals Reply

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after looking at some of the articles I realized it’s
    new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

    March 26, 2013 at 7:24 am
    • Kimroy Bailey Reply

      Thanks for stopping bye!… Please do share with us again soon

      March 27, 2013 at 7:47 am
  • Mel Reply

    Hi there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks

    March 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm
    • Kimroy Bailey Reply

      Sure Mel, if you think this information will help your readers then please do

      March 27, 2013 at 7:43 am
  • Clicking Here Reply

    This is very attention-grabbing, You’re an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to in the hunt for extra of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks

    March 26, 2013 at 7:15 pm
    • Kimroy Bailey Reply

      Thank you so much for taking a keen interest in what I do Luisa. Do let us keep in touch 🙂

      March 27, 2013 at 12:24 am
  • online roulette Reply

    Appreciating the dedication you put into your website and in depth information you
    provide. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed information.
    Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:26 pm
  • Jah-Son Shamma Shamma Dennis Reply

    I think the Mining and Energy Ministry needs a little visit from you Mr. Bailey.

    April 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm
  • Victor Reply

    I’m impressed, I have to say. Really not often do I euenontcr a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you have got hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is one thing that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing referring to this.

    February 22, 2016 at 4:59 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Load at the Speed of Light

Add App 🚀