By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government are planning discussions over implementing energy sector reforms outlined in a 2010 report, the Bahamas having received more than $3 million over the past four years to assist with such projects.
The talks will focus on some of the recommendations outlined in the report by German consultants, Fichtner, an IDB executive told Tribune Business yesterday.
Astrid Wynter, Bahamas country representative for the IDB, said: “We are in the process now of discussing with the Government a potential operation that would look at implementing some of the recommendations that came out of the Fichtner study of the energy sector. That’s something we will be discussing with government in a couple of weeks.
“We will be sitting with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, BEC and some other players to see what exactly would go into a packet to move toward a transformation towards a more sustainable energy sector.”
The German energy consulting firm, contracted by the former Free National Movement (FNM) government, has produced a road map for reform of the Bahamian energy sector.
Speaking at a project launch of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Action -Advanced Programme, (CHENACT-AP) Ms Wynter said the cost of energy was a significant constraint to the the development and growth of almost every industry in the region.
The IDB, according to Ms Wynter, has a commitment to focus on the area of sustainable energy. “Twenty-five per cent of the lending in the period 2010-2015 must be dedicated to sustainable energy. That covers the gamut from energy efficiency, renewables and waste energy. In the Bahamas country strategy in the period 2010-2014, as well as the new country strategy we have been asked to develop for 2013- 2017, sustainable energy remains a priority area,” said Ms Wynter.
“In the past four years there have been four technical assistance operations in the Bahamas for a total amount of $3.03 million in project costs.
“About $1 million of that was Global Environment Facility (GEF) money. About 75 per cent of the $3.03 million has already been disbursed. $1 million of that amount was from all four of the technical assistance operations that are or were executed by the Ministry of The Environment.”