NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Government should simply set the country’s renewable energy sector policy and “let the private sector do what it has to”, according to one local renewables provider.
Guilden Gilbert, vice-president of Alternative Power Sources expressed opposition to the government’s suggestion of a special purpose vehicle to manage renewable generation in the family islands.
Gilbert spoke with Eyewitness News Online on the heels of an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) public consultation over the funding and advancement of renewable energy in The Bahamas.
He said: “To be honest there wasn’t much said. The question is why is the government getting into this space? Set the policy and get out of the way instead of setting the policy and trying to own the plants through a special purpose vehicle.”
“The government just needs to set the appropriate policy and let the private sector do what it has to do,” he continued.
“I don’t agree with the government wanting a SPV and that vehicle owning the plants. Why does the government want to compete with the private sector which is essentially what it would be doing. It just shows that the government is not prepared to let the sector be in the hands of private enterprise.”
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’.
The government intends to invest upwards of $170 million over the medium term in implementing a renewable energy strategy.