Sears: Nation must achieve ‘ambitious’ renewable energy penetration target

Sears: Nation must achieve ‘ambitious’  renewable energy penetration target
Bahamas Power and Light.

NASSAU, BAHAMA — Works Minister Alfred Sears said yesterday acknowledged the Davis administration’s commitment to meet the National Energy Policy’s 30 percent renewable energy penetration by 2030 is  an “ambitious target”, but insisted it is one that this nation must achieve.

Sears was speaking at a press conference to present Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) new Board of Directors.

“In the Blueprint for Change as well as in the Speech from the Throne the government made a bold declaration and that is to make renewable energy an indispensable part of power generation for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” he said.

“In fact the government committed itself to achieve 30 percent of the power generation as comprising of renewables by 2030. Anyone who knows about power generation knows that that is a very ambitious target but it is one that we have to and we must achieve.”

Sears noted that with this nation having experienced the destruction of Hurricane it has no choice but  to build resilience. 

Sears yesterday thanked the previous BPL Board and  introduced the new BPL Board members; executive chairman Pedro Rolle, deputy chairman Daniel Ferguson, Errol Davis, Anthony Farrington, Reneika Knowles, Dirk Simmons, and Michelle Simms.

Rolle said: “We accept the challenge not because we think it’s a simple one or easy one or that things will go smooth  all of the time. It’s a a necessary challenge. Where we are is not good enough so every year we must find ways to ensure that we offer sustainable power.”

Rolle said that the delivery of reliable electricity must be a national issue.

“Whatever the changes may be we can’t afford at this stage to say it’s too hard. We need to find a way to make it happen,” said Rolle.

Sears noted that there have been a number of discussion with the outgoing chairman Dr Donovan Moxey and the Ministry of Finance regarding BPL’s fuel hedging arrangement which is soon set to expire.

“The hedging strategy is a financial arrangement which seeks to stabilise the price of fuel. That facility is supported by the government. This is one fo the first issues the new Board will have to address in concert with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Works. The provision will continue to stabalize the price of energy during this transition period because it is a transitional period,” said Sears.

He added: “There will continent to be some hedging mechanism and that will be a matter for the new Board and the government which by the end of the day will have to prove the guarantees.”

Sears noted that Deloitte and Touche is carrying out an assessment of BPL’s hedging strategy and Rate Reduction Bond aimed at tackling BPL’s legacy debt of nearly $300 million.