Energy experts examine Trinidad and Tobago’s quest to move away from fossil fuels

Industry experts dissected where T&T was in terms of its own energy transition quest to move away from fossil fuels.

As the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP27) focused on energy on Tuesday at the ongoing event in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, industry experts dissected where Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) was in terms of its own energy transition quest to move away from fossil fuels.

One of the emerging trends was green hydrogen, a cause which Kenesjay Green chairman Philip Julien is leading.

However, the concept has been slow in making an impact T&T and other parts of the world.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday at the conference, Julien explained, “I think the challenge the world is currently facing is the economics of it. For example, the technology in green hydrogen is improving, the price point is coming down. I think the world is at that point where it has to balance the economic requirement with environmental imperative.”

While Julien understands the concerns of the finances required to invest in green hydrogen, he is confident governments will soon see it as an alternative, as they transition from fossil fuels to a greener way of operating.

“I think as the world recognises more and more the urgency of having to do something, we will see more and more of that arise where the consumer starts demanding a more green value chain,” he added.

It’s a point United Nations Global Ambassador for Climate Change Racquel Moses backed up a day before at a side event hosted by the NPC Partnership called Materialising the Caribbean Green Hydrogen Opportunity.

Moses said the Caribbean must realise the way the world is going and grab such opportunities as they arise.

She told the event, “There is this enormous momentum and potential that is taking place and we need to capitalise on that… Maritime is going deep on green hydrogen. The airline industry is looking at green hydrogen as well and what is our major industry in the region? It’s tourism.

“So, we should be talking to the partners that are already our customers about their green hydrogen transition and how do we take advantage of what we are already doing and the potential that we have to build our economies up?”

Julien told Guardian Media that it will soon become unavoidable, as the world seeks more environmentally friendly ways of living to stave off the effects of climate change.

He said, “I think the economics are going to drive the kind of urgency that we would want to see in T&T when things like carbon taxes start being imposed, things like green premium start being paid for things like green ammonia and green methanol. I think we’re in the place where the green bottom line will drive an urgency. We’re not there yet but it’s coming. It’s inevitable. I don’t think the world is prepared to accept the rise in temperature, particularly as vulnerable island states, we have to demand change.”

Yet, even in T&T, the energy sector has been slow to gravitate towards green hydrogen and Julien understands why.

“I think T&T is in that quintessential energy transition space where today’s bread and butter is covered by fossil fuels but tomorrow is covered by green. I think it’s now at that point where private sector has driven it as far as we can and we’re now looking for the private-public partnership to really get it over the line,” he said.

This story was originally published on the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, with the support of Climate Tracker’s COP27 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship.


Ryan Bachoo

Ryan Bachoo

Ryan is a journalist with over 12 years of experience. He has a keen interest in climate change coverage. He’s progressed from being an intern to a reporter to a producer to an anchor. Ryan’s slugged it out with politicians, gone from reporting on a football game one day to entering the most dangerous parts of the city the next. Out of the workplace, he enjoys writing, playing sports, and supporting Arsenal FC.

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