Suriname (or Surinam), officially known as the Republic of Suriname, is a country in northern South America. It is bordered by French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles (until its dissolution in 2010) and the Netherlands itself have cooperated on a basis of equality since 1954. It is also a member of CARICOM and is considered as a Caribbean country that is not an island. At just under 165,000 km, Suriname is the smallest sovereign state in South America.

Government Role

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Role of government

The Ministry of Natural Resources (Natuurlijke Hulpbronnen, NH) is responsible for the development and execution of the Suriname’s energy policy but has limited technical and financial resources and insufficient autonomy. The Energy Advies Commissie (EAC) only provides advice for setting electricity tariffs. The power utility, Energie Bedrijven Suriname (EBS), is a statutory corporation under the policy direction of the MNH and enjoys a monopoly for the transmission and distribution of electricity. EBS shares its responsibility for rural electrification with the Department of Rural Energy of the Ministry of Natural Resources (DEV) that operates small power systems in the interior.

Government agencies

Other Government departments involved in the development of the energy policy are the Ministry of Labour, Technological Development and Environment (Arbeid, Technologische ontwikkeling en Milieu, ATM) and the Ministry of Regional Development(Regionale Ontwikkeling, RO).

Because the interior of the country is not connected to the national grid and many villages cannot even be accessed by road, these areas are identified as rural, and their development belongs to the domain of the Ministry of Regional Development.

The Business Development Directorate is also responsible for developing policies and projects relating to RE

Energy procedure

  • The Development of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Electrification of Suriname (in the pipeline)

This project has the objective of promoting the use and development of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) in Suriname. This project will demonstrate the use of hydro energy technologies and solar technologies demonstrated as an option for the electrification of the Hinterlands. Expected outcomes of this project include the installation of off -grid renewable systems and hybrid (PV diesel) systems (at least 225 kW of PV panels) and on-grid hydro power in the Hinterlands (at least 2.7 MW of micro hydro plants installed).

This project will assist with reducing energy consumption in Suriname, and demonstrate energy efficiency practices in Suriname mainly by using efficient lighting (installing at least 50,000 CFLs, 875 street lighting lamps) and solar water heaters. The project will produce proposals for the update/amendment of the legal, institutional and regulatory framework of the energy sector affecting the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.

Energy regulator

No dedicated energy regulator exists in the country. EBS and Staatsolie assume the limited necessary regulatory responsibilities.

Degree of independence

EBS and Staatsolie are both state-owned institutions. Financing comes partly from Government stipend and partly from their market operations.

Regulatory framework

With the exception of a colonial legislation regulating electricity concessions and a technical regulation for the supply of power, there is no regulatory sector framework.

Regulatory roles

EBS and Staatsolie are responsible for setting the tariffs for electricity, oil and gas consumption in the country. Staatsolie are also engaged in capacity-building programs for their staff and customers. Finally, both companies are involved in regulating the quality of their service, including frequent quality inspections, and the accreditation of equipment and procedures in accordance with international standards.

Energy regulation role

The Ministry of Natural Resources, in conjunction with the recently-established Business Directorate, have responsibilities for producing and enacting energy policy in the country.

Regulatory barriers

Currently, Suriname has no policy on renewable energy, although it has a number of renewable resources at its disposal. Subsequently, there are regulatory limitations in implementing clean energy projects. Moreover, there is no clear overview of the country’s resources and possibilities in the utilization of renewables.