Grenada power company warns of threat to electricity reliability and costs; gov’t denies
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. (GRENLEC,) the sole provider of electricity in Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, has claimed that the country’s new energy legislation will threaten the electricity sector’s reliability and costs.
It has also claimed the Electricity Supply Bill and Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Bill are politically motivated.
But government says both claims are far from the truth.
In a statement issued earlier this week, GRENLEC said the Bills unilaterally scrap the current legislative and regulatory framework that has successfully allowed Grenada to enjoy more than 20 years of world-class electricity service and growth.
But Minister for Health and Social Security yesterday issued a statement, saying he was appalled at GRENLEC’s comments.
“I take issue with that. In fact, I take offence to that. This is being motivated in the best interest of our people of Grenada. Unlike the members of GRENLEC who have framed this, we have a responsibility to the people, not to shareholders,” the minister said.
“It is not an acceptable international norm to have a legislated monopoly.”
Steele says that, for years, Grenada has not been able to access any of the benefits of being a member of the International Renewable Authority, because of the legislative monopoly of GRENLEC, which has been preventing government from providing electricity to less fortunate people, or to itself, without first seeking the permission of the private entity.
The minister says, with the new legislation, the aim of government is not to terminate the operations of GRENLEC, but to bring greater competition into electricity market for the benefit of the people.
“It has nothing to do with whether the private entity is welcomed or continues to be welcomed. What we seek to do is create an environment…it should not be as a result of a legislation. It should be as a result of fair competition and fair play,” he said.
“As a responsible government we not only have a right to provide that type of environment, we have an obligation to provide that type of environment,” he added.
The Lower House of Parliament on May 11 approved the measures that the Government said will lead to a comprehensive reform of the electricity sector by opening the door for other investors to generate electricity using renewable energy resources.
The Upper House will make a final decision on the Bills in an upcoming sitting next Tuesday.
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