Devon O. Niel Gardner, Dillon Alleyne and Charmaine Gomes, november 2013
The current energy systems within Curaçao depend primarily on high cost, imported fossil fuels, and typically constitute power sectors that are characterized by small, inefficient generation plants which result in high energy prices. As a consequence of its dependence on external fuel supplies, Curaçao is extremely vulnerable to international oil price shocks, which can impact on economic planning and foreign direct investment within their industrial sectors. The ability of the successive governments to source capital for economic stimulation and social investment is therefore significantly challenging. Additionally, there is over-dependence on two of the most climate-sensitive economic sectors, namely the tourism and fisheries sectors, but the vulnerabilities of the country to the effects of climate change make adaptation difficult and costly. It is within this context that this report focuses on identification of the fiscal and regulatory barriers to implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in Curaçao with a view of making recommendations for removal of these barriers.
Consultations with key Government officials, the private sector as well as civil society were conducted to obtain information and data on the energy sector in the country. Desktop research was also conducted to supplement the information gathered from the consultations.
The major result of the assessment is that Curaçao is at an early stage in the definition of its energy sector. Despite some infrastructural legacies of the pre-independence era, as well as a number of recent developments including the modernization and expansion of its windfarms and completion of a modern Electricity Policy, there are still a number of important institutional and policy gaps within the energy sector in Curaçao. The most significant deficiency is the absence of a ministry or Government agency with portfolio responsibility for the energy sector as a whole; this has: limited the degree to which the activities of energy sector stakeholders are coordinated and retarded the development and implementation of a comprehensive national energy policy. The absence of an energy policy, which provides the framework for energy planning, increases investor risk. Also, the lack of political continuity that has emanated from the frequent changes in Government administrations is a concern among stakeholders and has served to reduce investor confidence in particular, and market confidence in general.