The Commonwealth of Dominica
Dominica has been nicknamed the “Nature Island of the Caribbean” for its unspoiled natural beauty. It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring, the Boiling Lake.
The island features lush mountainous rainforests, deep valleys, lakes and rivers, and is home of many rare plant, animal, and bird species. There are dry areas along the western coast of the island, but heavy rainfall can be expected inland and in the rainforest and mountain regions.
Dominica is one of the youngest islands in the Caribbean chain. It is a sprightly 26 million years old, still actively evolving with continuous geothermal activity.
On November 3rd 1978, Dominica obtained its independence from Britain. The new era of independence brought increased challenges, and economic and political struggles. By the mid 1980s Dominica had settled down as a stable and peaceful country. The success of the banana trade, the island’s major export, brought economic buoyancy to the island. By 1992 however, Dominica saw sharp declines in banana exports with the loss of its preferential access on the UK market.
The 2015 electricity rates in Dominica are $0.39 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), higher than the Caribbean regional average of $0.33/kWh. Like many island nations, Dominica is reliant on imported fossil fuels, leaving it vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations that directly impact the cost of electricity. However, Dominica is not as reliant on imported fossil fuels as other islands in the region thanks to three hydroelectric plants on the Roseau River that produce 27.4% of the electricity supply.
Ministry of Trade, Energy and Employment
The Ministry of Trade, Energy and Employment is responsible for formulating Dominica’s energy policy. The Energy Unit of the Ministry coordinates the implementation of the policy for electricity generation, transmission, and distribution, including renewable energy, in conjunction with the electricity sector regulator and the utility company. A Project Management Unit (PMU) established within the Ministry of energy in 2009 to coordinate the exploration and exploitation of geothermal resources in Dominica.
The Energy Unit
The Energy Unit is the primary contact for Government’s renewable energy development programme. It is responsible for coordinating, in consultation with key stakeholders and in accordance with Government’s established policy, the development of a comprehensive programme for developing Dominica’s renewable energy resources, for making sound policy recommendations to the Minister for Energy for the effective implementation of the Renewable Energy Programme, and to ensure that performance in meeting standards and targets is monitored, evaluated and reported on a regular basis.
Ministry of Public Work and Ports
The Ministry of Public Works and Ports is responsible for regulating the operations of the electric utility company, Dominica Electricity Services Ltd. (DOMLEC). The Ministry is also responsible for coordinating the development and expansion of electricity production, transmission, and distribution, including electricity generated from renewable sources. The Ministry of Public Works coordinates matters related to the supply of public lighting.
The contributions that sustainable energy – renewable energy and energy efficiency – make to improvements in the economic, environmental, and social conditions of Dominica are integrally connected to the following objectives:
- Greater energy security
- Increased energy independence, including through the development of renewable natural resources
- Maximisation of energy efficiency
- Greater environmental sustainability
- Reduction of energy costs and tariffs
- Extension of universal electricity coverage
- CDKN-CARICOM-A Regional Implementation Plan for CARICOM’s Regional Climate Change Resilience Framework
- Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA)
- Caribbean Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP)
- Caribbean-GTZ Renewable Energy Programme
- Caribbean-NREL Cooperation
- Dominica-Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR)
- Dominica Island-NREL Cooperation