By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Bahamas should take “measured steps” towards renewable energy integration, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation’s (BEC) general manager believes, agreeing that the proper legislation and a National Energy Policy needed to be implemented beforehand.
Kevin Basden, who was a panellist at a recent CIBC FirstCaribbean International Conference, ‘Public Private Partnerships in Infrastructure Development & Financing’, said this nation should look to a systematic increase in renewable energy usage over time.
“A lot of people may say that as we live in the Bahamas there is a lot of sunshine, so we can just stop generating energy utilising diesel generation and we can go solar immediately,” he said.
“It does not happen like that. The other aspect is that some persons believe that renewable energy is a panacea, and overnight we can just replace what we have and costs will go down automatically.
“There again, that does not quite happen. One has to look at the economics of it and then there is the environmental aspect, what are we doing to reduce carbon emissions?” said Mr Basden.
The Government is still in the process of finalising a National Energy policy, which is intended to provide guidance on future energy supply and usage.
Mr Basden added: “I think what you will see is a systematic increase with renewables over time. I think we ought to take measured steps. If one just rushed and did it without the proper planning, and got it wrong, that would be at the expense of the country and we don’t want that.”
He said that among the challenges the Bahamas faces, as it relates to renewables, is ensuring that the proper regulation is in place.
“You must have the proper regulation and framework in place in line with a National Energy Policy such that it will be an incentive for those persons who want to do it and, at the same time, it ought not be at the expense of the other customers,” Mr Basden said.
“There is also the issue of financing, what type of financing is to be put in place for those who do not have funding. There is also the issue of proper education and training.”