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The pursuit of alternative energy in BVI

British Virgin Islands: The pursuit of alternative energy for the territory is a key focus of Minister for Communications and Works, Mark Vanterpool,  who has announced that government is trying to find renewable energy options to reduce the territory’s dependence on fossil fuel, the reported.

“We must not sit back and say wind energy is not an easy thing… We may not get there, and yes wind turbines are not attractive, but we have to decide between wind turbine and fossil fuel emitted in the air, which one has the most effect on us. They are both environmentally not great; one has a degradation effect on the atmosphere and one is not great to look at,” Vanterpool said during the budget debate in the House of Assembly on March 22, the said.

He added: “We (government) have found every possible way of alternative energy to help us….. looking at giving incentive for individuals who are finding alternative ways to reduce energy…. I told the BVI Electricity Corporation to stop, halt and not keep running the way they are…. to think outside the box ….The ways are out there, we just haven’t stopped and looked at alternative ways.”

The report said that in recapping the steps that have been taken so far, Vanterpool disclosed: “I went to the southern side of Spain to a place called Seville. I wanted to understand what they are doing when it comes to wind and other alternative energy. The government of Spain gave to the private sector incentives for going into alternative energy and it gave way for investment… A percentage of their energy is provided by alternative energy and it is better for their pocket, and their environment. We here in the Virgin Islands have the sun’s rays all year round. The disadvantage we have is that we don’t have as much flat land, because solar requires a lot of flat land. We don’t have the immense requirement for energy like they have, but we have a lot of flat roofs.”

The report said that the minister noted that the airport in St. Thomas is almost fully powered by solar energy.

“What is wrong with copy-catting in a case like this?” he asked. “The administrative building has a large flat roof and that building costs us $900,000 a year to power up. What is stopping us from powering up the roof with solar power. The only problem is that it might leak and stop the solar panel. But you have to think outside the box,” Vanterpool said.


Category/ies:British Virgin Islands.
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