Sears: Energy future must align with energy policy, Speech from the Throne

Minister of Works and Utilities Alfred Sears said the government is working to ensure that anything regarding power production in the country aligns with the Speech from the Throne and the country’s energy sector policy.

He said he has been meeting with several companies interested in investing in renewable energy locally. He said this aligns with the government’s commitment to ensuring 30 percent of the country’s power is supplied by renewables by 2030, and ensuring the country carries out its commitment to mitigate against climate change.

“I’ve received a number of communications from various persons in the renewable sector of the economy and that is exactly the commitment that the government has made, so I’ve started to meet with some of those persons and I will continue to inform myself so that we can move as expeditiously as possible in the area of renewable power generation,” said Sears.

He added he has not yet met with Shell North America on its ongoing negotiations with Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) in regards to a power purchase agreement, but explained that he has met with local Shell representatives and will meet with Shell North America soon to discuss the company’s future in The Bahamas.

“We’re meeting with all the stakeholders and Shell will be one of them, we will meet shortly,” he said.

The largest question mark that continues to hang over BPL is whether the government will allow it to move forward on the almost $600 million rate reduction bond the company needs to improve power production on New Providence and the Family Islands.

Sears said there continues to be a need for those who want the bond placed to completely justify the need for such high borrowing.

“This is a matter which is under active consideration and review,” he said. “Before you can authorize the borrowing of over $600 million, you have to review it and make sure it aligns with the Speech from the Throne and the energy policy.”

The Speech from the Throne makes the commitments to “encourage renewable energy industries in solar, wind, wave and ocean thermal energy” and “recommits The Bahamas to a minimum reliance on renewable energy by thirty percent by 2030”.

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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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