Govt still committed to 30 percent renewable energy target by 2030

Government remains committed to meeting the target of 30 percent renewable energy penetration by 2030, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip Davis said yesterday during his 2022/2023 budget communication, explaining that the government’s plans to implement green energy initiatives will keep the “long-term” average cost of electricity below 20 cents per kilowatt hour.

Davis said that reduction would be a 20 percent decrease compared to current levels.

He added that Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears will soon reveal plans for Bahamas Power and Light’s board and management team to bring the power company to operational efficiency.

“This will be achieved in part by leveraging independent power providers to bring to The Bahamas generation powered by solar power or natural gas,” said Davis.

“Our commitment to energy reform and lowering the cost of electricity to Bahamians across the board is more than just talk.

“The government shortly on coming to office appointed a Cabinet Energy Sub-Committee that has been focused on advancing our commitment in the Blueprint for Change to transform to LNG- [liquified natural gas] powered generation.

“The sub-committee is advanced in discussions with providers to develop an LNG bunkering facility, LNG conversion of our generation and incorporating solar solutions. It is expected that these initiatives will keep the long-term average cost of electricity below $0.20 per kilowatt hour for The Bahamas.”

He said the government hopes to have a definitive and agreed framework on these initiatives during this budget cycle.

Davis also announced yesterday that in order to spur the increased use of solar as a means to produce electricity, the government is set to eliminate the import duty on lithium-ion and lithium phosphate batteries.

“These batteries are predominantly used for renewable energy,” he said. “We have also simplified the process for bringing in renewable energy parts.”

Davis lamented that so far, there has not been adoption of solar use for power generation across The Bahamas and vowed to change that, revealing a plan to solarize the Family Islands.

“The framework for renewables has seen little movement, including no work to update the Energy Sector Policy, which expired in 2020,” he said.

According to Davis, the government will deploy solar power plants, solar rooftop systems and solar microgrids, along with battery storage technology, to Inagua, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay, in order to stabilize their power production.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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