Project Countries


Antigua & Barbuda






Saint Lucia


Saint Vincent & Grenadines

Energy Challenges in the Caribbean

Throughout the Caribbean, countries are striving to improve their energy sectors so that they can better address issues of poverty, security and protection of the environment. Caribbean nations are faced with significant, but common challenges in their attempts to manage and improve their energy sectors. These challenges are highly interrelated but can be broadly summarized as including:

(i) High dependence on energy imports: The CARICOM region imports approximately 80%[1] of its energy as fossil fuels, with the exception being Trinidad and Tobago. This has led to the highest prices of electricity for domestic use in the world (ranging from USD 0.06/kWh to USD 60/kWh).[2] Caribbean states spend a significant amount of their financial resources on imported fossil fuels, even though their debt to GDP ratio continues to rise above the accepted norm of 60%.

 (ii) Low energy efficiency: Primary energy consumption per capita in CARICOM for 2007 was 319.38 barrels of oil equivalent (boe).[3] In 2007 Trinidad and Tobago was the highest consumer of energy consuming 110 boe per capita, significantly more than the highest consumer in the EU was Luxembourg who consumed 62.6 boe per capita.  This high rate of energy consumption is symptomatic of low energy efficiency and indicates considerable potential for improvements. However a lack of awareness as well as the absence of legislative and regulatory framework renders efforts to foster energy efficiency and conservation challenging.

(iii) Outdated regulatory framework and limited regulatory and institutional capacity hampers the improvement of energy efficiency – at present there are no performance requirements for energy efficiency in most of the Caribbean. Institutional capacity, in most states is limited and does not provide adequate support to the development of energy efficient technologies. Combined, these factors significantly impact on the costs of energy, which presently is ranging from USD 0.06/kWh to USD 60/kWh[4] a significant burden to countries that already face significant economic and fiscal difficulties.


[1]CARICOM Energy Policy, March 2013, p.4

[2]IRENA, Joint Bermuda Workshop between IRENA and CARILEC, September 2012, p.1

[3] CARICOM,  Energy Policy, March 2013, p.7

[4]IRENA, Joint Bermuda Workshop between IRENA and CARILEC, September 2012, p.1