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BVIEC VIP promises alternative sources of energy

In September 2010, the BVI Electricity Corporation signed a contract with Regional Manager of Delta Petroleum Bevis Sylvester (far right) for the supply of diesel fuel and gasoline to the Corporation that it said would result in a 2 percent saving for electricity consumers.

With instability raging in oil-rich countries leading to fluctuating oil prices, resulting in negative economic repercussions for countries like the British Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), if re-elected, plans to establish an energy office under the Premier’s Office to address the situation and integrate the concept of a “green economy” in all its policies and planning matters, among other plans.

Alternative energy sources such as wind and solar will be sourced by a VIP government, and to achieve this goal, the party promises to update its legislation and provide incentives, according to its manifesto.  Collectively, the intention is to lower electricity rates and less dependence on foreign energy sources, the party said.

“The research of energy and intelligence on energy supply sources, efficiency and related technology are of critical importance to the territory. In this connection, we will establish an energy office under the supervision of the Premier’s ministry,” the party states in its elections manifesto.

Motor vehicle taxation and renewable energy

The party plans to implement legislation for motor vehicle taxation that will “encourage the purchase and use of fuel efficient vehicles”, result in less vehicles per capita and discourage the purchase of less fuel-efficient vehicles.

The party has vowed to establish a renewable energy policy “that supports, encourages the use of alternative energy and otherwise incorporates greater utilization of green technology and products and services associated therewith”.

The VIP said nowadays the BVI has higher energy costs per unit than most Caribbean countries and its trading partners, as the territory imports all its energy for transportation, electricity generation and food production.

Oil prices

“As we go forward, oil prices are likely to remain high or even increase as India and China continue to expand their economies at a rapid pace. The territory would be in competition with those countries plus other Asian countries that are growing at a rapid pace as well. The situation is that we are faced with diminishing global reserves in addition to a shortage of refining capacity,” the manifesto states.

“Further, the turmoil in the Middle East presents a challenge to the world as most of its oil reserves are located there. A small territory like the Virgin Islands has to be proactive with its energy policies and strategies. In this connection the Virgin Islands Party Government will actively pursue a policy of energy use diversification, energy source alternatives and internal efficiency, and consumption management if we are to have reasonable prices and secured sources in the future,” the manifesto adds.


The party said its government will also explore a long-term plan to increase the production capacity “to required levels in the cheapest and most efficient ways” which will “improve and enhance the territory’s generation system”.

“We will rehabilitate, modernize and expand our distribution system to ensure a more reliable supply that will be a high priority for investment,” the party said in its manifesto.

Upgrading energy management standards for the handling and distribution of energy will be established and enforced, the party said. And the party plans to explore “the possibility of becoming part of new or existing bilateral arrangements for the supply of refined oil”, noting that the BVI’s “external sources of oil are presently determined by private providers which leaves our fate in their hands”.

Category/ies:British Virgin Islands.
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