NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Government must engage local expertise in the renewable energy sector, according to Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) chief Executive Jeffrey Beckles.
Speaking with Eyewitness News Online, Beckles noted the significant turnout at a recent public consultation spearheaded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Ministry of Finance over the funding and advancement of renewable energy in The Bahamas.
He underscored there is not only interest but local expertise in the renewable energy sector.
The government intends to invest upwards of $170 million over the medium term in implementing a renewable energy strategy.
According to acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson, the government is proposing to establish a special purpose vehicle to allow for commercial solar generation particularly in the family islands.
Johnson noted that it is the government’s policy that solar generation be ‘owned by Bahamians for the benefit of Bahamians’.
Yesterday, Beckles said: “Energy security continues to be a major thrust of The Bahamian landscape. This was a great step.
“There are tremendous opportunities for Bahamians to get involved in this exercise on various levels, in the technical discussion, the mapping of the strategy, the environmental process and there are quite of number of local experts capable of contributing to this effort.”
Beckles continued: “When you look at the turnout at the public consultation that demonstrated very clearly that a very high level of Bahamian expertise does exist in that space and we should do our part to ensure we engage that expertise.
“All of us live here and are a part of the Bahamian community and any involvement we can have to ensure that the end product is a sustainable one for and one behalf of the Bahamian people is one worth the effort.”