Dominica

Welcome

National Flag of Dominica

The independent nation of Dominica is located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. The largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, Dominica encompasses an area of nearly 751 sq. km and consists of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests with more than 365 rivers, waterfalls, boiling lakes, and pristine coral reefs. Dominica is home to the world’s second-largest boiling lake. All of this natural diversity has earned Dominica the title of “Nature Island of the World.”


Economy

  1. The economy is predominantly agriculturally based – high level of dependence on bananas.
  2. Dominica’s economy has suffered due to market access problems.
  3. Increasing dependence on tourism (nature/eco-tourism) and services (financial; ICT; etc.).
  4. Dominica requires reliable and cost-effective types of infrastructure, and especially in energy.
  5. Electricity and transport sectors represent considerable challenges for Dominica.
  6. Dominica has no natural petroleum resources.
  7. Small local market, therefore high cost electricity and fuel – economies of scale issues.
  8. Further, the reliability and efficiency of the current electric system and public transportation is extremely limited.
  9. However, Dominica possesses considerable natural resources to provide for its energy security with a combination of renewable energy technologies – hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar – and increased energy efficiency.
  10. Use of clean renewable energy end energy efficiency technologies will enhance opportunities for investment in the tourism sector.
  11. These technologies will also benefit development initiatives in agriculture, industry, commerce, government services and residential accommodation.
  12. Dominica’s Medium Term Economic Strategy states that major investments in electricity generation and distribution are necessary to facilitate the requirements for the further diversification of the economy.
  13. Dominica can demonstrate the viability of sustainable energy systems to other nations – especially SIDS.

Electricity Services

  1. Customer base for electricity services comprises domestic, commercial, hotel, industrial, lighting and street lighting.
  2. Dominica Electricity Services Ltd. (DOMLEC) is the only licenced provider of electricity.
  3. DOMLEC is owned by US firm WRB (51%); The Dominica Social Security  owns 20%; Local corporate and private citizens own the remaining 29%.
  4. Currently, diesel generators fuelled by imported oil, and hydropower plants generate Dominica’s electric power.
  5. DOMLEC operates two operating diesel plants (Fond Cole and Portsmouth) – 16.03 MW, and three hydropower facilities (Laudat, Trafalgar and Padu) – 6.42 MW
    Total: 22.45 MW
  6. Thermal generation (diesel) has grown modestly.
  7. Recent installation of 3 medium speed generators with a maximum of 4.2MW of electricity at the Fond Cole power station – replacement of old, unreliable and inefficient generator.
  8. Cost of electricity in Dominica has risen significantly in recent years and is subject to world oil prices – dependence on diesel generators.
  9. Residential customers pay approximately EC$0.70/kWh (US$0.26) for the first 50kWh and EC$0.81/kWh (US$0.30) for additional kWh.
  10. Fuel surcharge is calculated monthly and added as a per cost to the total consumption.
  11. Dominica has the highest electricity tariffs in the Eastern Caribbean – a source of concern and protest among many residents.
  12. Aged and poor quality  electricity distribution lines – causes high line losses – upwards of 10-14% – which is charged to the electricity consumer!
  13. Slow economic growth over the last few years resulted in a very slow growth in electricity demand (cost conscious households and businesses; minimal new investment in tourism, manufacturing, agri-business), and therefore little or no investment in additional generation or systems upgrade.


Energy

Renewable energy sources for Dominica include geothermal, wind, hydro and solar energy.

The Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy (Energy Unit), Ports and the Public Service handles all renewable energy matters. The Dominica Electric Services Company (DOMLEC) is the sole utility company of Dominica. The regulatory body with oversight is the Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC).


The Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy


The “Energy” Unit is responsible for coordinating activities related to the development and expansion of electricity production and distribution, including the development of renewable energy sources such as geothermal energy, solar energy, wind energy, and hydro energy.
The Unit also coordinates matters related to the supply and provision of public lighting.


Renewable Energy Programme
Government’s objectives for the energy sector are to minimize the cost of energy, diversify energy sources, reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, and conserve energy, while at the same time, reducing emissions of green house gases. The short-term goal is to have at least 25% of all electricity generated in Dominica from renewable sources by the year 2010, while encouraging and promoting the need for energy efficiency and energy security.

The Ministry is pursuing Government’s renewable energy policy, and this includes support to restore, and possibly expand the Padu hydro electricity generation station that will have the capacity to increase the generation from 1.8 to three (3) megawatts of electricity. The Ministry also encourages other investments for the expansion of hydro electric capacity, and the installation of photovoltaic (solar) electric systems for domestic, commercial, and institutional use.


Dominica is undertaking a project that will seek to exploit its geothermal resources for generating cleaner and lower cost electricity. With support from the Government of France and the European Union, through the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, a three (3) year (5 million euro) geothermal resource development programme is underway. This programme will determine and characterize Dominica‘s geothermal resource and set the stage for investments in geothermal energy generation plants or commercialization of the resource. The project plans to generate 100 megawatts of electricity, 80% of which will be supplied to the French departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique via submarine cables.


The Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC) was established by the Electricity Supply Act No. 10 of 2006. In broad terms, the functions of the IRC are to encourage the expansion of electricity supply to Dominica where this is economic and cost effective and in the public interest, and to generally encourage the operation and development of a safe, efficient and economical electricity sector in Dominica. The IRC is to ensure the security and efficiency of the supply of electricity, and facilitate the promotion of sustainable and fair competition in the sector, while protecting the interest of all classes of consumers of electricity in Dominica.


The law requires the IRC to be independent in the performance of its functions and duties, and it shall not be subject to the direction and control of the Government or of any person, corporation or authority, except that the Commission shall have due regard to the public interest and overall Government policy as embodied in the legislation.

http://www.dominica.gov.dm


CIPORE Focal Point Office:

Michael Fadelle

Energy Unit,
Government Headquarters
Kennedy Avenue
Roseau
Commonwealth of Dominica
Tel: (767) 266-3274
Fax: (767) 448-5044

Email: support@cipore.org


Fast Facts


  • Capital: Roseau
  • Official Languages: English
  • Demonym: Dominican
  • Government: Parliamentary Republic
  • Independence: November 3, 1978
  • Area: 754 km2 (184th)/ 290 sq mi
  • Population: 72,514 (July 2008 estimate)
  • Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)



RE Snapshot




  • RE Interests:Hydropower, geothermal, solar energy, wind energy,
  • RE Target: 25% by 2010
  • Utility Company:Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC)
  • RE in Grid Supply: Hydropower
  • Energy Institutions: Energy Division- Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy and Ports, Electrical Division- DOMLEC, Independent Regulatory Commission (IRC)

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