The cumulative installed capacity of the Caribbean community (CARICOM) and associated countries is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.95% to reach 47,677MW in 2025, according to a report by GlobalData.
Titled ‘Power Market in CARICOM and Associated Countries – Installed Capacity, Capacity Mix, Renewable Roadmap, and Future Outlook to 2025’, the report states that CARICOM countries are planning to invest in renewable power projects in the future to reduce dependence on imported oil.
The CARICOM community includes a number of Caribbean islands with very small territories and populations, as well as a few larger countries in Latin America.
These countries do not have access to domestic energy reserves and power generation relies on imported fossil fuel. Mainland countries such as Panama have access to hydropower resources, but this is also lacking in the Caribbean islands.
Due to the high dependence on imported fossil fuel, costs of both power generation and electricity are very high. CARICOM countries are focusing on adding non-hydro renewables such as wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) in their power generation mix to avoid these costs.
However, utility-scale renewable power expansion is restricted due to lack of land area. One solution is the construction of offshore windfarms.
Expansion of hydropower resources in mainland countries is also planned as part of the national energy policy to increase hydropower generation from the existing 5% to 25% in 2034.
Solarpower expansion will be restricted to the rooftops of residential buildings due to a lack of land.
Although fossil fuel is expected to remain the main source of power generation in the CARICOM countries, its share is expected to decrease with a move towards gas-based generation and increases in the share of renewable energy sources.