The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC), came into effect with the signing of a Financing Agreement between the CARIFORUM Directorate and the European Union (EU) in October 2016.
The programme is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) – on behalf of the EU – in collaboration with several key regional institutions, including the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), the CARICOM Secretariat, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines in the Dominican Republic.
TAPSEC is a direct response to Focal Area 2 of the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP), which focuses on Climate Change, Disaster Management, Environment, and Sustainable Energy, and addresses the sustainable development of CARIFORUM countries.
The overall objective of TAPSEC is to support the implementation of the CARICOM Energy Policy (CEP) and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C SERMS), as well as the various national policies and strategies on energy for CARIFORUM Member States (including the ‘National Energy Policy’ and the Sustainable Energy Strategy for the Dominican Republic).
More specifically, TAPSEC seeks to achieve the following:
- The effective implementation of the CARICOM Energy Policy (CEP), the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS), and the National Renewable Energy Policy and Strategy of the Dominican Republic, through the optimization of regional synergies; and
- The access of all CARIFORUM citizens to modern, clean and reliable energy supplies at affordable and stable prices, through improved energy efficiency and a significantly increased share of local and regional renewable energy sources.
To this end, TAPSEC is expected to produce results in the following three (3) thematic areas:
- Policy: The implementation of regulatory frameworks that enable renewable energy development and energy efficiency at the national level of the Member States is supported, as best as possible, through a collective, regional approach;
- Information and Capacity: The Region’s energy information network is improved. Also, the individual, collective and institutional capacity for delivering technical solutions among key players in the renewable energy and energy efficiency field (e.g. project owners and developers, financiers, engineers and technicians, policymakers, and planners) is strengthened; and
- Finance: Innovative financing mechanisms for renewable energy projects and businesses are identified and their accessibility for local and regional RE/EE project developers is supported.
For the purpose of TAPSEC, the Information and Capacity Components have been merged.
Organisation of American States (OAS)
The Organization of American States is the world’s oldest regional organization, dating back to the First International Conference of American States, held in Washington, D.C., from October 1889 to April 1890. The OAS came into being in 1948 with the signing in Bogotá, Colombia, of the Charter of the OAS, which entered into force in December 1951. The Organization was established in order to achieve among its member states—as stipulated in Article 1 of the Charter—”an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.”
Today, the OAS brings together all 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere. In addition, it has granted permanent observer status to 69 states, as well as to the European Union (EU). The Organization uses a four-pronged approach to effectively implement its essential purposes, based on its main pillars: democracy, human rights, security, and development.
Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
The purpose of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is to regulate the electricity, water, and telecommunications sectors in Belize to efficiently provide the highest quality services at affordable rates, ensuring the viability and sustainability of each sector.
The PUC balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL)
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is the primary distributor of electricity in Belize, Central America. Aggregate energy sold in 2017 was approximately 552.5 gigawatt hours (GWh). The Company served a customer base of approximately 94,450 accounts with a peak power demand of approximately 104 megawatts (MW) during the year.
BEL’s national electricity grid connects all major municipalities (load centers), except for Caye Caulker, with approximately 1,900 miles of transmission and primary distribution lines. The grid is primarily supplied by local Independent Power Producers (IPP) utilizing hydroelectricity, biomass, petroleum and solar energy sources, and is secured and stabilized by interconnection with Mexico. BEL also operates a gas turbine facility as a standby plant for energy security and reliability.
The Government of Belize (GOB) has direct ownership of 32.6% interest in the Company, whilst the Social Security Board (SSB) owns 31.2% resulting in public sector interest of 63.8%. Fortis Cayman Inc. owns approximately 33.3% and over 1,500 small shareholders own the remaining 2.9% interest in ordinary shares.
CARICOM Development Fund (CDF)
The CDF was established under Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. It is the centre-piece of the regime to address the disparities among the Member States of CARICOM which may result from the implementation of the CSME. The Agreement Relating to the Operations of the Fund was signed in July 2008 and the CDF began operating on November 2009.
CDF is committed to assisting Member States in maximizing the benefits arising from participation in the CSME, by reducing intra-regional disparities through effective partnerships and the provision of financial and technical assistance. It vision is to lead in providing effective, efficient and sustainable solutions that address the challenges faced by disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors participating in the CSME.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is a grouping of twenty countries: fifteen Member States and five Associate Members. It is home to approximately sixteen million citizens, 60% of whom are under the age of 30, and from the main ethnic groups of Indigenous Peoples, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese. The Community is multi-lingual; with English as the major language complemented by French and Dutch and variations of these, as well as African and Asian expressions.
Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries, and except for Belize, in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America, all Members and Associate Members are island states.
While these states are all relatively small, both in terms of population and size, there is also great diversity with regards to geography and population as well as the levels of economic and social development.
CARICOM is the oldest surviving integration movement in the developing world. Its achievements along the way are many. Great strides have been made, particularly through functional cooperation in education, in health, in culture, in security. Its Single Market functions,and it is a respected voice in international affairs because of a coordinated foreign policy.
Caribbean Centre For Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency (CCREEE)
The Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) has been designed to address the implementation deficit within the CARICOM sustainable energy sector and to support and coordinate the execution of regional Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) projects and activities. Established in May 2018, the CCREEE has been introduced at a critical juncture in the regional transformation agenda, which is increasingly focused on science and innovation for climate and energy issues, and is part of a broader post-2015 strategic arrangement through which the sustainable development pathway for the CARICOM Region is being pursued.
The Regional Centre was developed and promoted by the CARICOM Secretariat with financial assistance from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the Small Island Sustainable Energy and Climate Resilience Initiative (SIDS DOCK), the Governments of Austria and Spain and the European Union. CCREEE forms part of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centers (GN-SEC), an innovative south-south and triangular multi-stakeholder partnership to accelerate the energy and climate transformation in developing countries.
Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC)
The Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) is an association of electric services, dealers, manufacturers and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean region, Central and South Americas and Globally. The CARILEC Secretariat endeavours to improve communication among its members, providing technical information, training, capacity building, conference and other services. The Secretariat plays a leading role in electric utility advocacy, growth and sustainability in the Caribbean region, Central and South Americas. CARILEC was established in 1989 with nine (9) members as part of an electric utilities modernization project funded by USAID and implemented by NRECA under a five-year “Co-operative Agreement.” There are presently thirty-four (34) Full members, who are primarily electric utilities and a few Independent Power Producers (IPPs), seventy-five (75) Associate members and seven (7) Affiliate members.
Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR)
The Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR) is a non-profit association of Utility Regulators that regulate Telecommunications/ICTs, Electricity/Energy and Water, Wastewater and Sewerage Sectors. The purpose and objectives of OOCUR include:
- To assist in the improvement of utility regulation;
- To undertake research, training and development;
- To facilitate the understanding of regulatory issues and sharing of experience and information.
OOCUR Membership is open to Caribbean Utility Regulators while Associate Membership is open to Non-Caribbean Utility Regulators and Associations of Utility Regulators.