Online poll: Most think Cayman needs alternative energy sources

A large majority of respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll think using alternative sources of energy like solar, wind or waste-to-energy is the best way to deal with the high cost of electricity in the Cayman Islands. 

Of the 577 total respondents, 421 of them – 72.9 per cent – thought alternative energy sources was the way to go. 

“The condos at Lighthouse Point in West Bay have solar and wind and they generate five times more power than they can consume during the day,” said one person. 

“We have the blistering sun, year round,” said someone else. “It’s free to utilize, so may as well use it. Government needs to give people an incentive on obtaining solar equipment, for example, make it duty exempt or something. This way, it’s cheaper to implement.” 

“Even though most of the public is not able to afford alternate energy on a personal level and may not even want to actually own their alternate energy sources, if CUC was more balanced in their source of power, rather than fully dependent on fossil fuel, the usage price could be lowered,” said another respondent. 

“Alternative energy is the future and some countries are already there,” commented one person. “We are an extremely small country so it is possible and feasible. It’s not like we have to supply energy to millions of people and their homes. So we just need to take a deep breath and move forward. If countries 10 times larger can benefit, then we definitely will. We have all conditions here already; we just need to get the machinery to harvest the benefits.” 

“It seems the only way to get people to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels is to hit them in the pocketbook,” someone else said. “Funny, when I get my CUC bill, I never once said that they were overcharging me. I simply tried to find new ways to conserve energy. If I use it, I need to be prepared to pay for it.” 

Another 53 people – or 9.2 per cent – said creating an oil refinery to reduce CUC’s fuel costs was the best way to deal with the high cost of electricity here and 49 people – 8.5 per cent – suggested implementing energy conservation practices. 

“An oil refinery will not reduce the cost of fuel,” said one person. “Ask anyone in Curacao or Aruba.” 

“We’re too spoiled here,” said someone else. 

Fifteen respondents – 2.6 per cent – said going off the grid and doing without electricity was the best way to deal with the high cost of electricity, while only eight people – 1.4 per cent – said nothing should be done because the price was fine as it is. 

Thirty-one people – 5.4 per cent – suggested other ways of dealing with the high cost of electricity. 

“Introduce competition for CUC,” said one person. “It worked with the phones.” 

“Have an alternative electricity company to lessen CUC’s monopoly power,” said someone else. 

“Reduce the duty on fuel so CUC can pass this on to customers,” said another person. 

“Institute net metering so that those with wind and solar systems can get money back from the utility company,” commented another respondent. 

Next week’s poll question 

Do you support the government giving $4.1 million to select churches over the past two years? 

Absolutely 

I do, but the grant approval system should have been regularised 

I support government funding all churches evenly 

I don’t support this at all 

I don’t know 

 

To participate in this poll, please visit www.caycompass.com 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Catch 22 here.

    We could bring in nuclear. small, easy to hide, and safe.

    Would supply all our energy needs, and put CUC out of business.

    But there is the problem. How many people would be out of a job, if CUC was shut down?

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  2. If alternative energy was the silver bullet, no countries would have fossil fuel plants. the harsh reality is that alternative energy does not supply enough energy period. Its a nice supplement, but that’s about it. The sun does not convert light into enough energy to run AC’s, Water heaters, washing machines, heavy machinery, 3 phase units, data centers, etc etc etc. May be it can run the lights in your house and a hair dryer. You would also need to use the entire island for wind mills to deliver 1/5th of what CUC can delivers. all the other pie in the sky water/current/wave base energy is also a pipe dream. Hydrogen bases energy technology is similar to ethanol, its a political solution that in most cases doesn’t not yield more output energy than the input energy (it uses more energy than to create the energy in most cases) . If Cayman a had hydrodynamic system for example from a huge dam, it would be different because the energy is already there. Many of these guys yapping about hydrogen base energy failed to mention that they are using natural (potential energy to kinetic) energy to create the hydrogen for example.

    the REAL alternatives are:

    1- Compact Nuclear as the previous poster has suggested (I disagree that it would put CUC out of business, in fact it would expand it while lowering fuel costs)

    2- The oil refinery. That would lower fuel costs and create a significant amount of new jobs. not only new jobs (like a hotel), but HI PAYING JOBS.

    Both of these options would provide high power capacity to support the current infrastructure and for significant growth, as well as create great employment and business opportunities.

    All of the other idea are simply inadequate and pipe dreams.

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