Government Minister Hon. Nickolas Steele says Grenlec’s statement that the new energy legislation is politically motivated and will threaten the electricity sector’s reliability and costs, is unacceptable, and far from the truth.
During the government’s weekly post cabinet briefing on 18 May, Minister Steele said he is appalled at the statement.
“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.”
The Grenlec statement dated 17 May, claims that the new Electricity Supply Bill and Public Utilities Regulatory Commission Bill unilaterally scrapped the current legislative and regulatory framework that has successfully allowed Grenada to enjoy 20 plus years of world-class electricity service and growth.
However, the government minister believes the contrary.
Steele says Grenada has not been able, for years, to access any of the benefits of being a member of the International Renewable Authority, precisely 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 these Bills, 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 11 May, 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 made its final decision on the Bills in a sitting on Tuesday, 24 May.