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Bahamas Calls For Alternative Energy

THE recent high electricity bills are a sign that the Bahamas needs to adopt alternative energy solutions, Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour said.

He was speaking on October 24, as the Ministry of the Environment launched Energy Awareness Week at the Paul Farquharson Centre on East Street.

Mr Neymour said: “The systemic nature of this problem demands that a holistic approach be taken.

“One approach requires tracking down each unit of energy wasted, to minimise the need for future expansion of infrastructure.

“It must be recognised, however, that while reliance on tried and proven technologies, both renewable and non-renewable, provides a level of certainty in the short term, without focused research and development of emerging technologies, the likelihood of establishing indigenous forms of clean technology diminish rapidly.”

Mr Neymour discussed the potential of solar water heaters, which the government has been testing for several months.

He said: “Typical systems include a storage tank, a collector panel and a fluid to transfer the energy from the sun to the water.

“There are many different types, each having their relative advantages and disadvantages, however a very efficient type, the thermosiphon model, is the most used world wide. It saves on investment and maintenance cost and is presently being installed in government provided homes here in the Bahamas as a part of a pilot project.”

But, Mr Neymour said, renewable energy technologies will encounter a number of challenges in the Bahamas.

“Among these are the lack of awareness among potential users, the lack of knowledge and skill among the local work force, the high initial cost of equipment, and the need for further incentives,” he said.

During Energy Awareness Week, the ministry will conduct a series of school visits to promote energy efficiency and “encourage students to explore new and bright ideas in energy,” Mr Neymour added.

Source: http://www.tribune242.com/news/10272011_Energy-costs_news_pg9



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