Energy profile: Trinidad and Tobago

From Global Energy Monitor

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This page is part of Global Energy Monitor's Latin America Energy Portal.
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Fuel mix (fossil fuels vs renewables)

Trinidad and Tobago derives almost all of its energy from domestically produced hydrocarbons, especially natural gas.[1][2][3] Due to the country's abundant fossil fuel supplies and economic dependence on oil and gas, renewables play a negligible role in the national energy mix, though a few small solar projects are underway[4] and the government has begun assessing potential for onshore and offshore wind energy.[5][6] Trinidad and Tobago set a target of 10% renewable electricity production by 2021, which it had yet to accomplish by the deadline.[7]

Greenhouse gas emissions targets

In 2010, Trinidad and Tobago was the second highest per capita producer of greenhouse gases in the world.[8] As of 2018, the country's per capita CO2 emissions from fuel combustion (12.4 tons annually) continued to outpace other Latin America and Caribbean countries by a wide margin.[9] Trinidad and Tobago set a goal during the 2015 Paris climate summit to reduce GHG emissions 15% by 2021, generating at least 10% of its electricity from solar and wind energy.[8] The government's Nationally Determined Contribution plan released in 2018 calls for Trinidad and Tobago's power generation, transportation, and industrial sectors to reduce emissions by 15% relative to business as usual by 2030.[10]

Government energy agencies

National energy ministry

The MEEI (Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries) manages Trinidad and Tobago's oil, gas, and mineral resources.[11]

Permitting and regulatory agencies

The MEEI is responsible for monitoring, controlling, and regulating the country's energy and mineral sectors.[11] The Regulated Industries Commission also serves as a regulator for the energy sector.[12]

Electric utilities

The Ministry of Public Utilities' T&TEC (Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission) is responsible for the electricity sector.[13]

National oil company

State-owned Petrotrin (Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago) was broken up in 2018 as a cost-cutting measure following the shutdown of its aging and insolvent refinery at Pointe-à-Pierre. Subsequently reorganized under the name Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited, its new subsidiary Heritage Petroleum Company has taken on responsibility for domestic crude oil exploration, development, production and marketing, while Paria Fuel Trading Company handles terminals, imports of refined products, supplies and logistics.[14][15][16]

State-owned National Gas Company is responsible for the purchase, sale, transmission, distribution, and aggregation of Trinidad and Tobago's natural gas resources.

Leading energy companies

POWERGEN (Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago) is the leading independent power producer in the country.[17]

Energy sector employment data

Despite its significant contributions to GDP and exports, Trinidad and Tobago's oil and gas sector is responsible for less than 5% of employment.[18]

Electricity usage

Installed capacity

As of 2020, the installed electrical capacity of Trinidad and Tobago was 2,114 MW.[7]

Production

For the past several decades, virtually all of Trinidad and Tobago's electricity has been generated from domestic natural gas.[4] In 2019, the country produced 87.31% of its electricity from gas and 12.63% from oil, with the remaining 0.06% from solar.[3]

Demand

In 2018, peak demand for electricity was 1,319 MW.[7]

Consumption

As of 2019, the per capita consumption of electricity in Trinidad and Tobago was 5,975 kWh.[3]

Coal in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has no coal reserves and produces no coal. As of 2016, the country consumed 198 tons of imported coal annually, ranking 125th in the world for coal consumption.[19]

Oil & Natural Gas in Trinidad and Tobago

Domestic Production

Trinidad and Tobago is an oil and gas based economy, whose major exports are hydrocarbons, petroleum and petroleum based products, and liquefied natural gas.[4][18]

Consumption

As of 2019, natural gas accounted for approximately 88% of Trinidad and Tobago's energy consumption, with oil comprising an additional 11%.[3]

Imports & source countries

Trinidad and Tobago imports some mineral fuels, primarily from the United States.[18]

Proposed new sources & projects

Government plans call for the continued development of natural gas, based on existing reserves, in the medium term future. Trinidad and Tobago's Minister of Energy and Energy Industries has stated that the government sees natural gas as a bridge fuel towards a more sustainable energy mix.[4]

Transport

Trinidad and Tobago has several operating natural gas pipelines, including the Angelin Gas Pipeline, Cross-Island Pipeline, ECMA Development Gas Pipeline, NCMA Development Gas Pipeline, and Tobago Gas Pipeline.[20] Other pipelines proposed for the region include the Dragon Gas Pipeline, the Grenada to Trinidad and Tobago Gas Network, and the Inter-Caribbean Natural Gas Pipeline.

Renewable Energy in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago has been historically weak in developing renewable energy infrastructure because the country has relied on natural gas for so long.[21] The government has begun reworking its legislative framework to facilitate electricity production from renewable sources, and there is a push for creation of a renewable energy agency within the Ministry of Energy.[21] As of 2019, less than 1% of Trinidad and Tobago's energy came from low-carbon sources.[3] In 2020, BP, Shell, and Lightsource won a bid to provide grid scale renewable energy throughout Trinidad and Tobago.[21]

Iron & Steel in Trinidad and Tobago

Raw steel production in Trinidad and Tobago has been falling since 2003.[22] Trinidad and Tobago experienced a drastic drop in steel production and exportation following the closure of ArcelorMittal's Point Lisas steel plant in March 2016.[23] Iron exports were also impacted by the temporary closing of Nucor's direct reduced iron plant in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.[24]

Environmental & social impacts of energy in Trinidad and Tobago

Environmental impact assessments in Trinidad and Tobago are a relatively new development, focusing more on post-disaster assessments rather than creating preemptive strategies for environmental management in the oil and gas industry.[25] Penalties meant to deter environmental violations are ineffective because there are not adequate resources to properly monitor the sector.[25] Wetlands, coastal resources, and rural communities are disproportionately affected by the oil and gas industry.[26] With the effects of climate change, sea level rise and storm surge are major risks to oil infrastructure.[27]

References

  1. "Panorama Energético de América Latina y el Caribe 2020". OLADE. November 27, 2020.
  2. "IEA Policies and Measures Database © OECD/IEA". IEA. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Hannah Ritchie; Max Roser (2020-07-10). "Energy". Our World in Data.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Khan: Natural gas key to clean fuel - Trinidad and Tobago Newsday". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 2021-02-02. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  5. "Trinidad and Tobago to investigate offshore wind". 4c Offshore. February 5, 2021. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  6. "Wind Resource Assessment Programme (WRAP)". Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries. Retrieved 2021-06-06.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Energy Snapshot: Trinidad and Tobago" (PDF). Energy Transitions Initiative. September 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Trinidad and Tobago plans to transition away from fossil fuels". Oxford Business Group. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  9. "IEA Energy Atlas". International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  10. "Intended Nationally Determined Contribution INDC) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change" (PDF). Government of Trinidad and Tobago. February 22, 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries | About Us". www.energy.gov.tt. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  12. "Energy Snapshot: Trinidad and Tobago" (PDF). Energy Transition Initiative. May 2015.
  13. "Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) | Ministry of Public Utilities Trinidad and Tobago". www.mpu.gov.tt. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  14. "Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Limited". trinidadpetroleum.co.tt. Retrieved 2021-06-10.
  15. "Trinidad and Tobago restructures state oil firm". Oxford Business Group. February 20, 2020.
  16. Linda Hutchinson-Jafar (January 19, 2021). "Trinidad and Tobago returns to market searching for refinery buyer". Reuters.
  17. "Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries | Electric Power". www.energy.gov.tt. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Trinidad and Tobago Economy 2020, CIA World Factbook". theodora.com. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  19. "Trinidad and Tobago Coal Reserves and Consumption Statistics - Worldometer". www.worldometers.info. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  20. "Tobago Pipeline | NGC". ngc.co.tt. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 "Renewable energy in T&T — Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago". Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago. Retrieved 2021-05-10.
  22. "Clarity needed on steel plant - Trinidad and Tobago Newsday". Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 2019-09-25. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  23. "Trinidad loses millions after steel manufacturing company closes | Buzz". Buzz | Caribbean and Jamaican News, Culture, Entertainment and Trends. 2020-01-29. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  24. "Nucor suspends production at DRI plant in Trinidad and Tobago". www.steelorbis.com. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Francis, Desai, and Balleck (June 10, 2016). "Environmental Impact Assessment for Sustainable Development of the Oil and Gas Industry in Trinidad and Tobago" (PDF). Annual Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. Baptiste and Nordenstam (March 2009). "Impact of oil and gas drilling in Trinidad: Factors influencing environmental attitudes and behaviours within three rural wetland communities". Research Gate.
  27. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (2011-10-22). An assessment of the economic impact of climate change on the Energy Sector in Trinidad and Tobago. CEPAL.