T&T gets US$60 million loan
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$60 million loan to help Trinidad and Tobago, a major producer of hydrocarbons, to transition towards a more efficient, sustainable and clean energy matrix. The IDB says the loan, the first in a programmatic series of three consecutive operations, will strengthen the regulatory and legal framework to contribute to a more sustainable energy sector with a focus on renewable energy, increased efficiency, transparency and accountability. It will support the preparation of new policy and legislation for energy efficiency and measures to increase the environmental sustainability of alternative energy fuels such as natural gas and compressed natural gas (CNG). Finally, it will promote efficient and rational production and use of fossil fuels and strengthen institutional capabilities for sustainable energy and public education efforts,” the IDB said in a statement. “The programme will promote a sustainable energy framework that will guide exploration, exploitation, utilization and monetization of energy resources where energy efficiency, renewable energy sources such as solar water heaters, alternative energy fuels, carbon reduction and innovation play a strategic role,” IDB Project Team Leader Natacha Marzolf said. By supporting these moves, the programme will contribute to Trinidad and Tobago’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under this programme, authorities will draft a “Green Paper for Energy and Minerals Policy in Trinidad and Tobago” which will shape the energy sector regulatory framework and will then be submitted to public consultations for feedback. The programme includes a series of tax and fiscal incentives for the importation and installation of wind turbines and solar water heaters and for kits used to convert vehicles so they can run on CNG. There will also by incentives for companies to carry out energy audits and implement other energy-efficiency measures. The programme will support public education and awareness efforts regarding energy and will help draft a plan for the establishment of a Caribbean Renewable Energy Center, which will help spread cleaner energy principles throughout the region.