In the span of just a few years, the focus at the annual Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation conference has shifted from issues around producing electricity from thermal capacity — usually oil — to what blend of renewable options constitutes the best path forward.
It is not just a theoretical question for the future, says Risto Paldanius, director of business development for Wärtsilä’s Energy Storage and Optimization business unit, a longtime attendee of the conference.
“It has clearly shifted, and now that the [levelized cost of energy, or
LCOE] for renewables is on par or lower than any thermal generation,
it’s all about solar and wind,” said Paldanius. “Then the questions
become how to achieve the 100 percent renewable future everyone is
talking about without causing disturbances in the grid and effectively
managing solar ramp rates and generation optimization.”
They are not questions rooted only in environmental sustainability; they also address life-saving resiliency, as seen with storms that have battered communities and their power grids on many islands with devastating outcomes in the past two years, including in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Anguilla.
UN Climate Change News, 21 February 2019 – Measuring, reporting and verifying climate action under the Paris Climate Change Agreement is being strengthened in the Caribbean region with the help of a new hub, with support from UN Climate Change.
This month, a Caribbean Measurement, Reporting and Verification “MRV” Hub was formally launched, a unique collaborative technical institution where countries in the region can share expertise to foster regional excellence and generate stronger policy-relevant carbon accounting.
The MRV Hub provides a mechanism through which country experts will function as a true learning, mentoring and resource-sharing technical cooperative
At a meeting of ten countries from the English-speaking Caribbean region convened at St. George’s University in Grenada, UNDP’s Damiano Borgogno delivered a call to action.
“You cannot control what you cannot measure,” he said, noting that countries must be able to measure and track emissions to make informed decisions that result in climate change action.
Since our blog titled, “Elon Musk Willing to Power Puerto Rico” of 6 October, a few hundred Powerwall battery packs for solar power energy arrived in Puerto Rico.
According to *Frederic Lambert of Electrek.co, “The new shipment arrived not long after Musk spoke with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello last week to talk about ways for Tesla Energy to help rebuild the power grid destroyed by the two hurricanes that recently hit the Caribbean.”
That’s not all. Elon Musk is now putting extra effort into bringing power back to Puerto Rico AND other affected areas by unveiling his new Tesla Semi truck earlier than planned:
Tesla, the automaker, is changing the planned revealing date of its electric truck, the Tesla Semi, from October 26 to *November 16 (according to Electrek.co) as it focuses on Model 3 production and aiding “power-less” Puerto Rico.
Tesla Semi, Model 3 truck image from trucks.com
Currently, less than 20% of the island has power and some areas may experience months without electricity. That is why Tesla plans to first focus on helping hospitals and medical centers to get stable power.