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The Chairman of BEC recently went on record to say that he could not foresee the government even considering giving more concessions for solar energy.

From the Editor’s Desk: Solar

Bradley AlburyThe Chairman of BEC recently went on record to say that he could not foresee the government even considering giving more concessions for solar energy.

Of course he had a different tune in August of 2012 when the government was nearing a deal with Chinese developers allowing BEC to acquire solar panels “at a very affordable price.” Mr. Miller was seemingly excited about this because, he noted, The Bahamas’ fuel bill was unsustainable.

If that was true then it continues to be true now. Fuel demand will not decrease, if that is what Mr. Miller is hoping for. The country continues to grow and our fuel bill will continue to grow. There will be a point when they can’t add any more onto everyone’s “Fuel Surcharge.”

But then again Mr. Miller does not seem too particularly concerned about managing fuel either. Earlier this month 5,000 gallons of fuel was lost when a man accidentally ruptured fuel lines in Nassau. They know who did this, but apparently, “The Bahamian people are going to have to pay because going to court won’t make any sense.” Really? I understand that the culprits may not have the money to pay this back, but it is about accountability. Something I sometimes doubt Mr. Miller has a concept of. On top of all this, apparently someone had been siphoning fuel straight out of the system for six months, since it had been six months since they checked the line.

Electricity is the one of the biggest barriers to doing business and being competitive in The Bahamas and especially Abaco. Our best bet is to start splicing in renewables, namely solar, to allow for a more sustainable energy model. Solar is expensive to initially install, but the savings over the long run more than make up for it. Also, the technology gets better and cheaper every year.

Do you know what is doing the opposite, and getting more expensive every year? Fossil fuels.

You would think it is in the government’s best interest to allow concessions for solar in private homes. The power plants in Nassau struggle because demand is too high. The country can’t borrow enough to cover BEC’s fuel bills. And the main problem, according to Mr. Miller, of Bahamians not paying their bills would be alleviated because electric bills might actually be a payable amount.

So it should be a win-win. Consumers are paying less and BEC is less burdened.

But the BEC Chairman does not seem to think so. His response to a question if solar energy is a greener energy than fossil fuels is very interesting. “Yes, but who’s going to foot the bill for going greener? And who’s going to make the money from going greener?” (Emphasis mine.)

‘Who’s going to make the money from going greener?’

Does somebody have to explicitly profit from solar to make it worth while, Mr. Chairman? Shouldn’t the country being better off be enough? I may be misreading this, but apparently if someone can’t get in on a piece of the action then apparently it’s not good for us “regular” Bahamians.

About Bradley Albury

Editor-in-Chief of The Abaconian.

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