Government is moving full speed ahead with its plans to adopt an Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Strategy, which seeks to ensure that by 2023 the Territory will decrease its fossil energy dependency and have 50 percent of energy supplied by alternative means.
Speaking at the Opening of a Photovoltaic Course at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College last week, Friday, Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool announced that Government is leading by example in its energy reduction plan having now completed the installation of LED lights, in all or most Government buildings.
The Minister disclosed that during the month of April his Ministry will be launching the conservation elements by introducing solar water heaters and LED lights, into consumers’ homes and businesses.
Hon. Vanterpool stated: “We are exploring the use of solar cells, where, as home owners and business owners, you will be able to generate your own electricity, from the sun.
This translates to less dependency on the National Grid, and ultimately, savings on your electricity bills.”
He noted that the conservation aspect is dependent on the requisite legislation that is being amended, and the necessary approval, from the BVI Electricity Corporation.
Nonetheless, the Communications and Works Minister stressed that reduction of fossil energy dependence is critical and Government views its alternative energy mandate seriously: “As a Government and a Territory and a people, moving towards very serious renewable energy solutions. We have been talking about it for years. I went to Spain soon after I was elected to office, and it struck me very hard, when I realized that I was in Spain, and it was cold in February, and they were way ahead of us in the Caribbean, in producing solar energy.”
He added: “I visited a farm that was producing 16 megawatts of power to the grid, and wondered why is it, although we don’t have as much flat land, that we in the Virgin Islands, and in the Caribbean, can’t do more, more aggressively, more urgently, to help us to produce more renewable energy, by way of the sun…Germany, another place that is cold, yet is another place that is on the leading and cutting edge of this.”