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Gov’T Urged: ‘Set Tone’ On Renewable Energy

The Government has been urged to “set the tone” for the renewable energy sector, with one provider warning the Bahamas is “way behind the eight ball” with less than 1 per cent penetration.

Guilden Gilbert, vice-president of Alternative Power Sources (APS) Bahamas, told Tribune Business this nation lagged other countries in the Caribbean on renewable energy penetration.

“I would image that the penetration is still below 1 per cent; way below 1 per cent,” he said. “Jamaica seems to be leading the charge when it comes to renewables on the retail level, for instance, home owners or commercial use.

“The Caribbean islands for the most part have embraced the technology. The Bahamas still seems to be way behind the eight ball. We are not getting any policy decisions.”

Mr Gilbert added: “In Bermuda, for example, the government sets the tone for renewables and tells the utility how it is to operate when it comes to renewables.

“So, rather than have the utility dictate to the government, the government is dictating to the utility, which in my view is how it should be.

“You want to encourage green technology and reduce your carbon footprint. Utilities, especially in the region, are not focused on reducing their carbon footprint. We have to start thinking about reducing our carbon footprint,” he continued.

“The Government writes and presents legislation. I agree that there should be consultation from the private sector, but if there is going to be new legislation on renewables all stakeholders should be involved in that process. It shouldn’t just be the BEC manager. All stakeholders need to be involved including the renewable energy companies.”

Tribune Business revealed last November how the Government had temporarily suspended the renewable energy self-generation (RESG) programme to ensure it ‘dovetailed’ with wider energy sector reforms, including PowerSecure’s takeover of Bahamas Power & Light’s (BPL) management.

PowerSecure executives earlier this year said solar energy would be integrated into its generation solutions, with the Family Islands likely to prove especially fertile ground.

PowerSecure signed a five-year management services agreement with the Government to run BPL, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s (BEC) newly-created operating subsidiary, on February 9.

Then, less than three weeks’ later, PowerSecure announced that the Atlanta-based utility giant, Southern Company, would acquire it for $431 million, with PowerSecure becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Pam Hill, who most recently served as vice-president of retail sales support at Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 150 energy company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, has now been appointed as BPL chief executive.

While a press conference was scheduled several weeks ago to unveil BPL’s business plan, that was ultimately postponed and the plan has not yet been made public.


Category/ies:Bahamas News, News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy.
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