The BVI is blessed with abundant sunshine and trade winds. We want to use these to produce our own clean energy so that we are less dependent on imported, expensive, and polluting fossil fuels. In 2010, we used over 11 million gallons of imported fuel, costing approximately $30 million, to supply our energy needs. We want to stabilise the cost of electricity and reduce the number of power outages experienced.
Peter Island can produce up to 70% of its own power using two wind turbines. Cooper Island produces 70% of its power using solar panels.
Current legislation prevents the implementation of alternative energy sources from contributing to the main power supply in areas served by BVIEC. Furthermore import duties and a lack of tax incentives make alternative energy technologies expensive.
We urge Government to amend existing legislation and promote clean, sustainable energy and energy conservation in the BVI.
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RE: Clean, renewable energy for the BVI
We the undersigned know that the BVI is blessed with abundant sunshine and trade winds. Let us use these to produce our own clean energy so that we are less dependent on imported, expensive, polluting fossil fuels.
We request the BVI Government to:
- Immediately amend current legislation that restricts the use of renewable energy
- Immediately exempt renewable energy technologies from import and customs duties
- Permit and support grid tie renewable pilot projects
- Support educational and awareness programmes on sustainability
- Create an economically viable model for clean, renewable energy that includes
targets, rebates, tax incentives, feed in tariffs and/ or net metering
The BVI is behind our sister islands that have embraced the concept of renewable energies.
- Barbados boasts that 80% of their water is heated using solar water heaters, offers tax
incentives and has reduced the burden of duty importing fossil fuels.
- St Lucia aims to be powered by clean, renewable energy by 2012
- USVI aims to reduce fuel consumption by 60% in 15 years through conservation initiatives and the implementation of renewable energy. Tax incentives, rebates and grid tie initiatives are driving progress towards this objective.
Amending current legislation that bans alternative energy sources and promoting clean, renewable energy in the BVI will:
- Provide sustainable, clean energy produced by the sun and wind
- Decrease expensive electricity bills
- Reduce power outages
- Reduce the risk of oil spills
- Reduce pollution
- Decrease our dependence on limited fossil fuels
- Prepare the BVI for the coming energy crisis
- Increase the BVI's competitiveness as a leading sustainable tourism destination
The time has come to take the impacts of climate change seriously and as leaders of this beautiful territory, rise to the challenge to do the right thing and respond to the needs of the people of the British Virgin Islands.