Page 10 - CARILEC CE Industry Journal_Oct_2019
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In  a  region  where  most  electric  utilities  are  still   “We have technology that enables the provision of
            government-owned, the idea of a hybrid business model   electricity to be more efficient and more cost effective,”
            can be a hard sell. International investors are actively   says Dr Bertin. “We are embracing and promoting that
            searching for opportunities in the renewables space, but   and we see a different sort of landscape developing. It is
            governments are often unwilling to relinquish control of   within our reach and it is actually happening.”
            such critical assets.
                                                                While CARILEC’s Strategic Plan runs until 2022, Dr Bertin
            There is room in the market for both the public and   does not see that as an end point but merely another step
            private sectors, according to Dr Bertin who points out   in the journey. He is wary of making unrealistic promises
            that most investors come in with innovative ideas and   and wants to push towards a realistic future, saying: “In
            plans but are often unwilling to take on the more   2022 the landscape will still be in transition. We do not
            mundane challenges of transmission and distribution —   expect to have arrived at any end point. What we expect to
            an area where they could partner with state utilities. But   see is an energy market that has more certainty and some
            if utilities are to adopt a more flexible business model,   level of predictability for investors. We will also be using
            they need flexibility in regulation. “We need a policy   technology to determine the optimal energy mix going
            framework to enable transition. We must have        forward across each territory, as each has different
            incentives and a legislative framework for investors to   potential and different trajectories.
            come in. This is where the government has been a bit
            slow,” says Dr Bertin.                              “All of these things will be best enabled through
                                                                collaboration in the region and beyond. No man is an island
                                                                and the utilities sector cannot do it alone. Government,
            WORKING SMARTER                                     regulators, utilities and consumers all have a role to play.”
                                                                In the meantime, he urges the public not to be discouraged
            While the sector is lagging in some areas, there are bright   at the pace of change, saying: “As much as we become
            spots of progress. Quite a few islands are upgrading their   frustrated  by the slow progress, and we  should be
            grids to make them smarter, using the latest technology   frustrated, we also need to be mindful of how far we have
            such as smart meters to track usage, highlight issues and   come  in a  relatively short  space  of  time.  As  small
            crack down on illegal activity.                     independent developing states, the rate of progress is
                                                                phenomenal. We need to recognise our achievements but
            In Saint Lucia, LUCELEC is using innovative travelling   recognise that we have some way to go. We should push
            wave fault locators which allow providers to remotely   ourselves and never settle for mediocrity. This is not just an
            pinpoint breaches in the system and send crews out to fix   academic exercise for CARILEC. We all live and work in
            the fault, cutting disruption from a matter of days to hours.  this region, it is in our interest to see progress happen.”

                                                GIS Symposium 2019

                                            “GIS for Community Resilience and Sustainability”

                                                               November 14-15, 2019
                                                              Bay Gardens Inn, St. Lucia
               US$120.00 per room per night                                     For more information contact
                  with the Code “GISSYM”.                                 

            08       CE  INDUSTRY Journal                                                Source: Star Businessweek
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