Electricity in the Caribbean is typically produced using high cost imported oil and diesel. As a result Caribbean islands pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world, undermining economic growth in the region and creating real competitiveness issue for the region’s industries as they struggle to undercut competitors in the US.
Available electricity supplies across the Caribbean are either based on the US 120V/208V 60Hz or International 230V/400V 50Hz distribution systems.
The installed electric generating capacity in the Caribbean exceeds 17 Gigawatts (GW). While most of the countries in the region have relatively high rates of electricity access, there is a growing need for additional generating capacity. At times available grid supplies struggle to keep up with demand and voltage brown-outs can occur. Several countries (including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba) experience power outages on a regular basis.
Between the months of June through to November tropical cyclones with hurricane force winds regularly hit the islands, wreaking havoc with electricity transmission and distribution systems – often resulting in prolonged supply disruptions.
It is widely acknowledged that several of the countries generating plants are ageing and unless replaced within the next few years overall supply reliability will deteriorate.
Rising to meet the need for investment in new and replacement capacity there is a growing recognition that islands must switch generation capacity from expensive diesel and oil derived power to more renewable resources, including geothermal, solar and wind energy.
Click on the relevant country of the Caribbean listed below to learn about the voltage requirements and state of the electricity power supply to be found in that particular region.