Utilities regulator to undertake analysis of renewable energy projects, cites general lack of awareness regarding benefits

Utilities regulator to undertake analysis of renewable energy projects, cites general lack of awareness regarding benefits

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The utilities regulator plans to undertake an analysis of renewable energy projects, having approved approximately 300 to date while acknowledging a general lack of awareness locally about their benefits.

Jonathan Hudson, the Director of Utilities and Energy at the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), addressed stakeholders at URCA’s recent forum on its annual plan for 2024. He stated that URCA is set to undertake an analysis of renewable energy projects, focusing on their cost, performance, and overall impact.

Hudson stated, “As we have engaged with communities, particularly in the family islands, we have found that while some individuals are aware of renewable energy, others are not. There is a general lack of awareness regarding whether it is a good investment. With frameworks in place for a few years now and over 300 projects executed, we are examining the actual return on investment that people who have participated in that framework are achieving. We are assessing the expenses incurred on a project, including operational costs, and the revenue received from the Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), both through the cost avoided by generating their electricity and the payment received from BPL for sending excess energy to the grid.”

The regulator aims to assess whether renewable projects can pay for themselves over time, stating, “We want to know if this is something we can go to customers and say if you do this, you can make money,” said Hudson.

The Bahamas’ renewable energy policy aims to generate 30 percent of its total energy needs from sustainable sources by 2030.