Chamber exec.: Don’t let oil price drop distract from solarization

Chamber exec.: Don’t let oil price drop distract from solarization
Debbie Deal, head of the Chamber’s energy and environment division.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A local chamber executive said yesterday the country must not lose sight of the need for greater solar penetration despite global oil prices dropping to historic lows.

Debby Deal, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) energy and environment committee chair, said: “This is the perfect time now for us to push solar and come off the grid if BPL is hurting as bad as it is. For the persons who have the resources to do they should be able to go ahead and do it.

“BPL should make it an easy transition and lessen the amount of paperwork and hold ups there are. The less energy they have to produce the better they will in a better position to provide power to those who can’t afford to go solar and stabilize the grid.”

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis acknowledged the need to capitalize on historically low fuel prices during a recent national address.

He said: “With fuel costs being the largest single item in the import bill, “a focus must be sustained on ensuring that BPL can lock in significant savings from the current  external environment of low oil prices”.

Still, acknowledging that fuel prices will likely rebound in the future once the COVID-19 fall-out dissipates, Deal said the future of the cash strapped energy provider should be private sector driven.

“I think that it’s time time for BPL to be sold, it’s long pas due. It’s the perfect time right now to become a private sector driven entity,” she added.