The Minister also listed a number of planned efforts to reduce Bermuda’s carbon footprint and improve the sustainability of the Island.

Solar, wave and wind technology could all be used as Government tries to make the most of the Island’s natural resources, said Mr Bean.

But he added: “Even as progress is made toward meeting the ambitious targets outlined in the White Paper, it is inevitable that fuel poverty, or the inability to afford the cost of electricity to adequately provide for the basics, will continue to affect an increasing proportion of Bermuda’s population as fossil fuel prices continue the march upwards.

“Many existing businesses will also face an increasingly challenging environment and may no longer be economically viable in a world of increasingly expensive oil.

“Policies outlined in our White Paper encourage residents to begin making the changes necessary for their long-term economic survival.”

He said Government will introduce a legal framework providing “greater clarity surrounding the relationship between the incumbent electric utility and independent power producers” to address questions surrounding access to the electrical grid.

“The planning of new electrical generation capacity, which has historically been performed solely by the electric utility will also be subjected to new legislation and will be assured of a more inclusive process involving the entire energy industry,” said Mr Bean.

“Inclusion of renewable energy technologies in the generation mix will be necessary, but must be considered carefully in order not to cause any grid instabilities or otherwise compromise the high standard of service that Bermuda has come to expect.”

The White Paper, released in July, is a nine-year plan outlining key energy policies to substantially reduce fossil fuel dependency, maintain energy security and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions below ten metric tons equivalent per capita by 2020.

Noting a lack of awareness of energy matters on the Island, Mr Bean said last night: “Most importantly, the Department of Energy is introducing the concept that developing energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, energy alternatives and the impact of climate change are some of the most serious priorities of modern times.

“Bermuda’s energy supplies have historically been relatively secure. However, there has always been and will continue to be ongoing risks to short-term energy security.

“For example, nearly all of Bermuda’s electricity is supplied by a single, privately owned company and Bermuda is over 98 percent dependent on imported fuels for its total energy requirements.

“Approximately 60 percent of imported fuel is used by the electric utility and the remaining forty percent is used mainly for transportation.

“This is clearly an unsustainable trend for tiny Bermuda, and our dependence on foreign oil makes us vulnerable to a world market, over which we have no control.”

Mr Bean said Bermuda’s 2,300 motor vehicles per square mile is one of the highest densities in the world, while electric rates and transportation fuels are relatively expensive compared with many jurisdictions.

Government is aiming for 30 percent of Bermuda’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2020, said Mr Bean.

Original article

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