Energy forum to discuss sustainable future

Energy forum to discuss sustainable future
Jeffrey Beckles, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers' Confederation.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) is hopeful that its 2019 energy forum, which is slated for March 19, will attract hundreds of stakeholders to discuss and exchange ideas concerning energy reform in the country.

The Bahamas Energy Security Forum (BESF) is an initiative established by the BCCEC in 2014 to create a platform and forum for the discussion and exchange of ideas, policies and initiatives intended to improve the state of energy in The Bahamas.

The forum is aimed at reviewing the energy sector’s impact on the environment; including cost and affordability, security and efficiency and developing trends in sources of renewable energy.

Geoffrey Beckles, President, BCCEC said the event, since its establishment, has attracted hundreds of participants and has hosted panels of local and international experts in the field of energy.

While underscoring the importance of reliable and efficient energy to the country’s overall economy, he noted that the chamber expects robust dialogue to take place at this week’s event.

“As we look at the whole issue of energy, no Bahamian is untouched by the energy issue,” Beckles noted.

“Sometimes we look at it in the context that we are only a country of 400, 000 people; but we see it as being a country of 6.5 million people because we must take into account the visitors that also come into the country and how energy affects their experience and how their experience affects the economy.

“Because their experience determines how they spend; and so, energy is directly related to the success and growth of our economy.”

Debbie Deal, Chairperson, BESF revealed that the 2019 forum’s theme is “We’ve Got The Power.”

She noted that the theme is directly linked to the forum’s focus which will, “zero in on smart and more efficient ways of using energy with an overall agenda to increase the public’s awareness on matters relative to the productive use of energy and implementation of the 2014 National Energy Police.”

Deal said this year’s event seeks to bring private stakeholders together to encourage businesses and homeowners to be aware and contribute to smart energy use.

“If we the private sector are not in control of our own energy, ‘how will our country survive?’” she questioned.

“How is our country going to survive and how will businesses continue if we don’t take control now?

“That’s what this whole forum is about. How we can take control of our own energy and in turn be able to be protected when storms come. Or be able to benefit from more cost-effective energy in the future.”

Conference registration begins at 8:30 am on Tuesday.

The one-day seminar will have five speakers and is expected to wrap up by the end of the business day.