If The Bahamas is to meet its National Energy Policy goal of 30 percent renewable energy by 2030, the focus must be on getting more Family Islands utilizing alternative power solutions, stressed the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) Energy and Environment Committee Chairperson Deborah Deal.
Deal, who is also a member of the Economic Recovery Committee’s (ERC) Energy & Environmental Stewardship subcommittee, said addressing the country’s dependency on fossil fuels for electricity was a key component over the eight weeks of consultation in which the subcommittee was engaged.
She said in addition to meeting with Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) executives, the committee met with representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank, which loaned the
government $80 million earlier this year to advance the deployment of renewable energy.
“It was really good to hear what their plans were and why they committed to that and what they are anticipating doing. Because, truthfully, the only way we’re actually going to achieve our 2030 goal, that we signed on with the Paris Agreement…is we really need to get alternative energy to the Family Islands at a greater percent than here on Nassau,” said Deal.
The Bahamas adopted the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2016.
The National Energy Policy was established a year earlier, which commits a minimum of 30 percent of the country’s energy matrix being by way of renewable energy by 2030.
A part of the policy included an agreement by BPL to deploy solar plants on 20 Family Islands.
In May, the ERC was appointed and charged by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to provide actionable recommendations to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on The Bahamas.
ERC Co-Chair Marlon Johnson has said that the committee has received in excess of 300 recommendations from the various subcommittees and members of the public.
Deal said she alone submitted more than a dozen energy and environmental recommendations to the ERC, as did the other seven members of the subcommittee.
The ERC is still in the process of completing its recommendations to present to Cabinet by the end of this month.