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View From Afar: We Must Make Use Of Net Metering

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John Issa

By JOHN ISSA

SINCE neither all my readers nor I are engineers, I will write in layman’s terms about the practice of net metering being adopted in enlightened countries.

Net metering is a system whereby consumers of electricity are able to install solar or wind generating units at their homes or commercial enterprises and then are given credit for the electricity that they feed into the national grid. This excess arises during periods of high wind and strong sunshine when the owners of these renewable energy installations are not consuming as much as they are producing. This eliminates the need for very expensive battery storage units.

The benefits to the environment of using wind and solar to produce electricity are a given. The benefits are especially great for countries like The Bahamas, which depend on clean seas, vibrant coral reefs, fishing and an attractive climate for its very survival. Not to mention the devastation that rising seas would bring to our low lying islands.

The economic benefits are equally obvious. We would reduce our imports of fuels thus saving valuable foreign exchange. We would also reduce the capital needed by BEC/BPL to expand their generating capacity as much as they would otherwise have had to do.

So we need to ask: ‘why do we not already have net metering in The Bahamas?’ The country desperately need to take every action and adopt every policy that can benefit its people and the economy.

Net metering is a no brainer.

• John Issa is executive chairman of SuperClubs. He is writing regularly in The Tribune.

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