Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Build “Green” Subdivision

Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett says the government is already beginning to see the benefits of solar powered devices and is looking to develop the country’s first green subdivision.

The project will be done through the assistance of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Through the two organisations, the government was able to advance two pilot projects devised to collect data on renewable energy technologies.

“The first project provided for the installation of solar water heaters and the second project for the installation of photovoltaic systems in Bahamian homes. The data received thus far confirms that these devices would benefit Bahamians in lowering their electricity consumption thus saving them money,” Minister Dorsett said at the 23rd annual Bahamas Business Outlook held at the Melia Resort.

“My ministry would like to expand on the success we have seen with the installation of these devices by developing the nation’s first green subdivision. This proposed community would feature solar power and energy efficient LED lights and only energy efficient appliances such as the ones used in the pilot projects would be installed. I envision that this development would become the model for all future public and private sector housing projects.”

Last August, Minister Dorsett made a presentation to Parliament on the topic of ‘Planning our Electric Future.’

He said that many of the plans announced in that presentation have borne fruit.

“I am proud to announce that many of them have come to fruition already, however, I still would like for my ministry to explore along with the Ministry of Finance a programme to encourage businesses to conduct independent energy audits, whose cost would be deductible from revenues that form the basis on which the business must pay its business license fees for the year the audit is carried out as promised in the Charter for Governance,” Minister Dorsett said.

“These energy audits would assist in finding the inefficiencies within businesses and point out where energy can be saved.”

He continued “This government has set a course for change within this vital sector of our society. We are resolved to ensuring that the changes we proposed come to fruition because it is not only in our best interest as a nation but is imperative to our economic survival. We understand and hope that you understand that this is not going to be something that will happen overnight but over time. As you can see by the measures that we have taken already and the commitments that we have made, we have and continue to make serious and notable strides toward our goals as it relates to energy sector reform.”

In 2012, it was reported that The Bahamas was the second largest importer of oil in the Latin American region, placing spending at 13-14 per cent of GDP in 2006.

Officials have said that they want the country to be at least 30 per cent dependent on renewable energy by the year 2030.

Minister Dorsett the signs of the times show that The Bahamas must make a change in the energy sector.

“We must reform and there is no better time to do it than now,” he said.

“When this reformation exercise is complete it is our hope that, in addition to lowering the cost of electricity, this sector will create gainful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians as well as advance The Bahamas as it pertains to all energy generation, transmission and distribution and renewable energy.”

Minister Dorsett said the government is also looking to economically develop the energy sector through a number of job opportunities.

“There is currently a programme provided at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in conjunction with the United States Solar Institute which teaches the proper installation of photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters. These are an example of some of the jobs of the future, jobs that aid in the provision of clean energy, jobs that can provide a good livelihood. We must be ready for them,” Minister Dorsett said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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