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Green VI hands over draft legislation to government to promote clean, renewable energy in the BVI

Green VI has handed over to Government draft legislation that could swiftly revise current legislation that restricts the use of renewable energy in the BVI.

The timing of the handover of the legislation fits in well with the current workshops being held to discuss greening of the economy in the BVI. It also is timeous with the pilot solar project planned by the H. Lavity Stoutt College that includes a renewable energy training component.

The draft regulations, drafted on a pro bono basis by the law firm Harneys, would establish a process by which persons could obtain permission to install alternative energy systems at their homes or businesses. They also open the door to grid-tie, a type of technology which allows persons with alternative energy systems to sell energy back to the central utility.

The legislation was submitted along with a petition signed by more than 1,500 people who support the BVI’s move towards clean, renewable energy. The petition states: “The BVI is blessed with abundant sunshine and trade winds. We want to use these to produce our own clean energy so we are less dependent on imported, expensive and polluting fossil fuels.”

According to the petition, in 2010 the BVI used over 11 million gallons of imported fuel, costing approximately $10 million, to meet the territory’s energy needs. Current legislation prevents the implementation of alternative energy sources from contributing to the main power supply in areas served by BVIEC, while import duties and a lack of tax incentives contribute to making alternative energy technologies expensive, says the petition. Together these policies put renewable energy systems out of reach of most island residents.

It does not have to be this way. Governments around the world have used a variety of measures to promote the use of renewable energy technology thereby reducing dependence of fossil fuels, preparing their economies for the global energy future, improving the environment, and lowering energy bills for consumers.

Here in the BVI, Peter Island produces 70% of its own power using two wind turbines and Cooper Island produces 70% of its own power using solar panels.

The petition calls on government to “amend existing legislation and promote clean, sustainable energy and energy conservation in the BVI.” Jacco Bos of Alternative Energy Systems and one member of the coalition said the group has already been in dialogue with Government on this issue and stands ready to work with policy makers to help create a clean and sustainable energy future for the Virgin Islands.


Category/ies:British Virgin Islands.
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