The WorldWatch Institute recently published a brief assessment of theopportunities for renewable energy development in Belize . Here’s an excerpt: With a population of only 350,000 and a national economy of US$1.5 billion in 2011, Belize does not consume large amounts of energy. Peak electricity demand in 2010 was 80.6 megawatts (MW), well below the U.S. state of Vermont’s peak energy demand of 953 MW in 2011. Belize’s low energy consumption makes it a suitable location for further development of clean, indigenous energy sources.
Currently, Belize depends heavily on foreign energy sources. In 2010, the country imported more than a third of its electricity from the Mexican power provider, Comisión Federal de Electricidad. In addition, Belize spent approximately $129 million, or 18.2 percent of its total import expenditures, on imported fuels. Not only has this raised energy prices for consumers, but if Belize continues to rely largely on imports to meet its energy demand, it will be highly susceptible to fluctuations on the international market. The Belizean government must explore other, local energy resources to strengthen and stabilize the country’s energy sector.
Secretary-general urges Belize private sector to make use of CARICOM market
Secretary-general of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque has urged the Belizean private sector to make use of the opportunities provided under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). On the second and final day of his official visit to Belize, LaRocque told a cross section of private sector representatives that CARICOM “is your market. Use it! It is your right.” He described the interaction with the group as one of the highest levels of engagement he has had with the business community during his visits to member states. The secretary-general outlined to the businessmen the measures being undertaken to encourage the growth of trade within the Community and also the opportunities for increasing exports to international markets. He stressed Belize’s potential to capitalise in both instances particularly in the area of agriculture. The business community brought to the Secretary-General’s attention some of their concerns and offered suggestions to improve the trading exchanges within the Community. Discussions also centred on Belize’s role as a possible conduit to increase trade and business opportunities between CARICOM and Central America. Later the Secretary-General told youth representatives that he viewed youth as an asset, not a problem and their time was now, not the future.