Montserrat’s Case for Renewable Energy by 2020 in Numbers

renewable-vs-non-renewable-energy-sourcesMontserrat is 100% powered by fossil fuels.

Montserrat has the unenviable title of having the highest electricity cost in the OECS based on 2014 rates.

Relative to the world, Montserrat is ranked 12th in the worst 20 countries with the highest carbons emissions of 12. 98 tonnes per capita in 2011.

Montserrat Utilities Ltd (MUL) currently operates four high speed diesel generators to power the island.

The generators together provide 5.4 MW to the electricity grid.

Montserrat has a total peak demand of 2.1 MW. This peak occurs during festival seasons such as in December and March when the island has the highest number of visitors.

Peak demand for the island typically takes place between 11 AM and 12 noon.

The country has a high level of service reliability, averaging approximately 99.85% (first eight months of 2015) amounting to 13 hours of non-coverage for the year.

Montserrat has 100% electricity coverage of residential and commercial properties.

Households consume approximately 52% of all electrical power.

Cost of electricity to the domestic consumer is around EC $1 per  or US 37 cents kWh (Sep 2015).

A significant portion of the cost can be attributed to the fuel surcharges of around EC 0.50 or 18.5 cents USD per kWh, which – even in the current period of “low” global oil prices – constitute half of the charges.

Each Montserratian household uses on average approximately 2008 kWh of electricity annually.

With approximately 2800 households on island, an unofficial audit suggests the primary use of energy at home is for cooling and cooking.

Night demand for energy is approximately 1.2 – 1.5 MW.

Delta Petroleum Limited is the sole provider of fossil fuel to the island. The company provides cooking gas (LPG), diesel (DSL) and gasoline (GSL).

Sales across 2014 and 2015 have been fairly consistent at:

  • LPG 165,000 Imperial Gallons
  • DSL 1,200,000 Imperial Gallons
  • GSL 750,000 Imperial Gallons

MUL produces about 12,282 MWh of electrical power annually.

In general, approximately 10,780 MWh of electricity is utilized annually by the end users. This is an energy use of around 2.15 MWh per person. This represents about 45% of the total fossil fuel based usage over the year, with the remainder being used for travel and cooking. So in round figures it might be assumed that Montserrat uses (in total) about 4.81 MWh per person per year.

If Energy Efficiency is calculated as units of energy per unit of GDP, the United Nations indicates that Montserrat’s 2013 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $US 11,565. So the Energy Efficiency is 384 W which compares with the highest Energy efficiency Caribbean countries of the Bahamas (615 W) and Trinidad and Tobago (614 W) respectively.

Source: The Montserrat Energy Policy 2016 – 2030