While discussing the economic hardships we face as a country with fellow colleagues, I came to a realization that tourism should not be the driving force for the future development of The Bahamas.
I understand that we must not downplay the tourism industry completely because this has made The Bahamas what it is today, but I want us to look beyond that.
The Bahamas has more to offer.
By saying this, we should push the efforts of green energy like solar energy, wind energy, tidal energy, wave energy, etc.
However, solar energy should be the first step to transitioning into clean energy.
Solar energy will make a positive impact on the economy and our environment. This provides us with an increase in jobs, carbon-free emissions, little to no land disturbance, and readily available free energy from the sun.
Larger and developed nations emit carbon dioxide and other GHGs into the atmosphere at a significantly higher rate than small islands and developing states and should roll out an improvement.
Though their contributions are smaller, small island states such as The Bahamas are most susceptible to the impacts of increased GHG emissions.
Hence, they are making the transition to renewable energy.
Due to its geographical location, The Bahamas is exposed to a great amount of sunlight throughout the year with an average of 2,880 hours.
With this, the country would benefit tremendously from solar power while reducing the carbon print of the country.
Emphasizing the need for solar energy does not mean The Bahamas is not completely blind of solar energy.
On the islands of Andros, Eleuthera, Bimini and Inagua, Bahamas Power and Light collaborated with Rocky Mountain Institute and Carbon War Room’s Islands Energy Program to implement the “Family Islands Solar Energy Program”.
Introducing solar panels on these islands will enable The Bahamas to increase 30 percent of its power from clean energy constantly by year 2030. With this information in mind, imagine the positive impact this can have on The Bahamas if we were to establish solar panels on more islands.
Numerous residents are also more inclined to install solar panels onto their housetops.
Businesses such as Island Solar, Bahamas Solar, and Solar Power Bahamas, have been installing solar panels for quite a long time and are urging new developers to invest in this.
Each business has authorized contractual workers accessible to examine, introduce and screen the solar panels to give the best help, and provide maintenance.
It is understood that the tourism industry has made a major impact on the development of The Bahamas.
It is not my goal to blindside this fact or for us to stray away from it, but I wish to suggest a green initiative that would benefit the economy, the environment and our people.
Lately, it has been recognized that tourist tend to travel to more eco-friendly destinations.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council has a list of criteria that names a country sustainable to attract these tourists.
Among this list is to “maximize benefits to the environment and minimize negative impacts”.
With implementing more solar energy, this would successful.
This can be our first step to a greener initiative.
— Tiara Ashley Brown