Consider alternative power sources

In the article ERA Still Not Meeting in Monday’s (15 January, 2007) paper, Mr. McLean states ‘[The ERA] has nothing to manage…I’d name directors, but someone needs to tell me what it’s going to do.’

Mr. McLean, I know exactly what you should tell them to do.

Tell them to lobby CUC and the government to allow energy generated from alternative sources such as solar and wind to be fed back into the utility grid.

It is done all over the world except in Cayman, where we have an incredible amount of sunshine and wind. This would give CUC customers a real opportunity to reduce their power bill and clean up the environment. It will also break CUC’s monopoly.

Solar and wind power arrive daily on this island with no shipping fees or duties. It is clean, quiet, dependable, never ending and most importantly free for everyone…forever.

Yet we still continue to outlaw it and rely on a dirty, noisy, ozone depleting, g lobal warming, finite,

fossil fuel that costs us hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in power bills every month.

If the government and CUC would allow a grid tied solar or wind system people would have the power to eliminate their power bill except for a monthly utility connection fee which is typically less than $10 US a month.

CUC would also benefit from the allowance of grid tied solar and wind systems.

How? Any excess energy that is produced by the solar or wind system is sold back to CUC for a fraction of the price of what it cost to produce that same amount of energy from diesel fuel.

I have heard rumours about CUC saying these types of systems are unsafe for their workers and that it would affect people’s homes that are down the line from a solar system.

As far as I know CUC’s utility network is not much different than those systems all over the world who are allowing grid tied solar and wind systems.

CUC’s utility lines are nothing out of the ordinary.

There are hundreds of thousands of grid tied systems all over the world selling power back to their utility company and I have never heard of a utility company that is unable to support these systems.

The rest of the world, including the Caribbean, embraces and offers financial incentives for any alternative energy source, such as solar and wind.

How much longer can people afford to live in a country where the main energy source comes from a diminishing, limited resource.

What is Cayman going to do when our diesel umbilical cord has finally been cut due to inadequate supply or skyrocketing prices?

Mr. McLean we here in Cayman are forced to pay whatever CUC decides to charge us.

Sure CUC tells everyone to turn off lights, use compact florescent bulbs and install timers, however all this advice adds up to only pennies off our utility bills.

Solar and wind power could really change this island for the better. Mr. McLean ‘You’ve Got the Power .’ Support renewable energy in Cayman!

Eric Mildenberger