URCA wants banks to finance small-scale renewable generation systems
The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is hoping to convince banks to finance small-scale renewable generation systems in order to increase the number of households and small businesses supplementing their power, URCA Director of Utilities and Energy Shevonn Cambridge said yesterday, adding that as individual systems are added, the cost of electricity could come down.
Cambridge explained that small residential and commercial consumers who install renewable energy systems work to drive the cost of electricity down when they feed excess energy back to the grid.
“The way the utility produces energy is that it starts with the most efficient machines and, as the demand goes up, it goes into its least efficient machines,” he said.
“And as it gets there, that drives the fuel charge up. So if we are able to provide power from our own individual systems, and we inject it into the system, that actually keeps the generation costs down and keeps the fuel charge down for all of us.
“The more energy that we as individual consumers produce, the less energy that the utility has to produce. If we can reduce the demand, we can stay in the efficient production realm.”
He added that because these systems help households and small businesses to reduce costs, banks might see them as projects that can eventually pay for themselves.
“Part of our initiative is to get to the financial institutions and let them see that these are actually bankable projects that they can finance for consumers, and therefore try to promote this initiative going forward,” Cambridge said.
He added that there are about 180 individuals with small systems producing about two megawatts of power.
He added that URCA is also working on driving down demand by encouraging the use of high-efficiency appliances and low-demand lighting.
“Consumption demand drives what is produced,” he said. “If we can encourage the responsible use of electricity, we can also reduce the cost of electricity.”