Antigua and Barbuda Kick off NEP revision

The island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is set to benefit from a Revision of its National Energy Policy (NEP), which kicked off on Friday, February 19, 2021. Not only will the revised NEP provide the framework for a greater integration of renewable energy (RE) sources in the national grid, but it will also streamline the process for RE investment approvals, encourage investment in RE demonstration projects for wind and solar sources, and increase the technical capacity of local energy institutions and energy actors to support clean energy development on the island. 

The current National Energy Policy was developed in 2011 by the local Energy Desk and the Sustainable Energy Task Force aiming to reduce energy intensity by 10% and increase renewable energy penetration by 15%. Just five years later, in 2016, the island surpassed its renewable energy target.  Political, economic, and technological changes have rendered the original NEP, while appropriate at the time created, vague and outdated, prompting the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to request assistance for an update. With the help of the CARICOM Energy Policy and Regulations Help Desk, housed within the CARICOM Secretariat and supported through the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC), the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, many local stakeholders, and the island’s wider population will benefit from a revised policy, a living document that reflects the realities and challenges of Antigua and Barbuda’s energy sector, with a 20 – 30-year energy outlook that supports energy market development. 

Representatives from the local Ministry of Public Utilities, Civil Aviation, Transport and Energy, the TAPSEC, and the team of consultants from the CADMUS Group gathered virtually to kick off the project. The six-month revision will include a baseline assessment to map the country’s energy service needs, scenario modelling to assess varied energy scenarios, and a series of robust stakeholder consultations to gain valuable feedback from local stakeholders and persons at the grassroots level throughout the revision process. Pending approval from the Help Desk’s Oversight Committee, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is also seeking to develop a National Energy Action Plan (NEAP), a companion document that will provide realistic plans to achieve the goals laid out in the NEP. 

Policy Advisor to the Minister of Energy, Ambassador Brian Challenger expressed the Government’s full support of and commitment to facilitating the islands’ energy transition referencing the Cabinet decision that empowers and enables the revision of the NEP. 

TAPSEC’s Senior Policy, Regulations, and Resilience Advisor, Ms. Sparkle Prentice, affirmed the programme’s commitment to delivering continued support and technical assistance to Antigua & Barbuda as the country modernises its policy framework to support its renewed energy objectives and recent local sustainable development commitments via the CARICOM Energy Policy & Regulations Help Desk.

The Help Desk is an intervention of the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC), jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union, under the 11th European Development Fund, and implemented by the GIZ in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat and the Ministry of Energy and Mines in the Dominican Republic.