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Green VI hands over draft legislation to government to promote clean, renewable energy in the BVI

Press release - Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Green VI has handed over to Government draft legislation that could swiftly revise current legislation that restricts the use of renewable energy in the BVI.

The timing of the handover of the legislation fits in well with the current workshops being held to discuss greening of the economy in the BVI. It also is timeous with the pilot solar project planned by the H. Lavity Stoutt College that includes a renewable energy training component.

The draft regulations, drafted on a pro bono basis by the law firm Harneys, would establish a process by which persons could obtain permission to install alternative energy systems at their homes or businesses. They also open the door to grid-tie, a type of technology which allows persons with alternative energy systems to sell energy back to the central utility.

The legislation was submitted along with a petition signed by more than 1,500 people who support the BVI’s move towards clean, renewable energy. The petition states: “The BVI is blessed with abundant sunshine and trade winds. We want to use these to produce our own clean energy so we are less dependent on imported, expensive and polluting fossil fuels.”

According to the petition, in 2010 the BVI used over 11 million gallons of imported fuel, costing approximately $10 million, to meet the territory’s energy needs. Current legislation prevents the implementation of alternative energy sources from contributing to the main power supply in areas served by BVIEC, while import duties and a lack of tax incentives contribute to making alternative energy technologies expensive, says the petition. Together these policies put renewable energy systems out of reach of most island residents.

It does not have to be this way. Governments around the world have used a variety of measures to promote the use of renewable energy technology thereby reducing dependence of fossil fuels, preparing their economies for the global energy future, improving the environment, and lowering energy bills for consumers.

Here in the BVI, Peter Island produces 70% of its own power using two wind turbines and Cooper Island produces 70% of its own power using solar panels.

The petition calls on government to “amend existing legislation and promote clean, sustainable energy and energy conservation in the BVI.” Jacco Bos of Alternative Energy Systems and one member of the coalition said the group has already been in dialogue with Government on this issue and stands ready to work with policy makers to help create a clean and sustainable energy future for the Virgin Islands.

To sign the clean energy petition please visit Green VI’s website: www.greenvi.org

This article was posted in its entirety as received by bvinews.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of bvinews.com, its sponsors or advertisers.



11 Comments

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  1. Good for everyone
    March 1, 2012
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    Cheaper, cleaner and sustainable in a territory that is 100% dependent on foreign fuel. I am not sure how anyone could be harmed by this as long as it is kept private sector and not implemented by any Government “project”.

    It is nice to see such a positive influence from the private sector.

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  2. RichKay
    March 1, 2012
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    This proposal benefits all levels of society in the BVI – even when looking at it purely from a simple financial perspective. The tiered tarrifs that BVIEC would use to fund electricty for grid-tie installations would (in the medium term)stabilise energy prices in the BVI. i.e. spikes in oil prices will have far less of an impact once renewable energy installations reach a critical mass. Importantly, all people in the BVI getting a utility bill (electricity) would benefit from both reduced and more stable charges.

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  3. Confucius
    March 1, 2012
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    :-D Thank you Harney’s!

    I hope that the government will take this proposal seriously. It is long past due. :mrgreen:

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  4. Concerned
    March 1, 2012
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    This is an idea which could be abused. The rich could make a killing here. The policy here should be that we use and encourage the use of Alternative Energy, but those who could afford it should not be allowed to pass all their cost unto the poor and less fortunate. The payback for energy pass to the public grid should be restricted to that owed to Corporation; in other words if peter used 50 units and pass back to the corporation 75 units, it should be that he don’t have to pay the corporation any thing for that year. The following year the slate should be wiped clean, in that, if in year 2 peter use 50 units and pass 49 units to the Corporation then Peter will have to pay the Corporation for the 1 unit. The Corporation should not be found paying the RICH for their DREAMS or HOBBIES.
    Yes to Alternative Energy. No to the rich being paid for the excess energy!!!!!!!!

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  5. February 29, 2012
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    Funds saved will be redirected
    and injected into the local BVI economy!
    Both households and businesses will
    benefit financially upon implementation!

    Reply to this comment
    • Concerned
      March 1, 2012
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      Could nearly agree but one penny of BVI Electricity Corporation should not be paid to an individual or company for excess energy. It could be used against their charges though. For clarity I can agree with the rich using our grid without paying the Corporation but i will resist with a passion the Corporation paying the rich for their dreams

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      • Good for everyone
        March 1, 2012
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        Why not?

        If someone wants to invest their own capital to provide for themselves as well as others and share the benefits it should be encouraged.

        With AE everyone wins.

        Your comment is both short sighted and antagonistic.

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  6. New Leaf
    February 29, 2012
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    It is time.

    Turn it over.

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  7. Ray
    February 29, 2012
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    Excellent news. I hope the law is amended to allow alternative energy usage.

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  8. Crank Shaft
    February 29, 2012
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    How ya’ll say the expats are bad for the BVI? Look at what they’re doing? Wow! This is good stuff..

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  9. Not2Sure
    February 29, 2012
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    I hope the Govt takes this seriously. How crazy is it that in a land with abundant sunshine, we pay to import and burn diesel to generate electricity? Makes no sense at all. Make a change for the good of the environment and the good of the country.

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