Beyond implementation: mainstreaming solar energy into Trinidad's residential sector

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Academic Profile

Kiron is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago and was able to pursue majors in both Geography and Environmental and Natural Resource Management (2009 - 2012). He later worked with the Environmental Policy and Planning Division of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources in Trinidad (2012 - 2013) on several initiatives that revolved around policies for wildlife, integrated coastal zone management, climate change and ozone depletion, as well as recycling and waste management. These experiences naturally peaked his interest in the environment and he followed on with ECI's MSc in Environmental Change and Management (2013 - 2014) here at Oxford through his election as the Commonwealth Caribbean's Rhodes Scholar for 2013. The strong research context of the department provided an exciting environment to learn, think and question; creating an academic climate well placed for pursuing longer-term research through doctoral studies.

Academic Interests

  • Islandic Energy Systems
  • Solar Energy
  • Socio-cultural perceptions of Energy

Current Research

Kiron's work is focused on his home country of Trinidad and Tobago since it is perhaps one of, if not the only Small Island Developing State that has world-scaled industrial operations in not only oil and natural gas, but also several petrochemicals. Having researched solar energy applications for Trinidad since 2012, his research theme has remained on the residential sector of the country because the mix hydrocarbon-based production, consumption and exportation together with, powerful fossil subsidies, no present renewable energy deployment and socio-cultural norms in an island energy system such as this presents a strong academic context worth investigating. In light of this, Barbados and Hawaii are two other insular locations that have been successful in implementing solar energy in different capacities and each location holds lessons-learnt, knowledge transfers and best practises that can be adapted to Trinidad.

At present, he is comparing the residential electricity networks on both the islands of Oahu and Trinidad with the ultimate goal of identifying institutional innovations and lessons-learnt that can be transferred to Trinidad. Oahu's network is well integrated with solar and provides a unique 1:1 comparison for Trinidad as an islandic energy system that is quite comparable in terms of population and island size, scope of residential sector, insular resource context and available solar energy.

Research Sites

The islands of Trinidad and Barbados in the Caribbean, and Oahu of the State of Hawaii in the Pacific.

Funding

Rhodes Scholarship 2013; 2015 Sir Peter Elworthy Grant.