Quinton EdnessBelow is an extract of an interview with retired politician Quinton Edness, published in today's Gazette.

Surprisingly, said Mr Edness, there had not been a "whisper" of any desire by Government to reduce the Island's dependence on fossil fuels considering the recent advances in renewable energies.

"The biggest and best way is to cut energy costs.

"I do not expect Belco to recommend [that], however I did expect the Government department responsible for energy to have made recommendations by now, particularly recently on Environment Day [June 5], which came and went.

"Our energy costs are four to five times greater than they are in the United States. Every country in the Caribbean has taken steps to reduce energy costs, except Bermuda, and this is most likely because of vested interest in energy in Bermuda.

"We do not expect the Government to have a vested interest in energy, or in Belco, so they should have done something by now."

Diesel fuel, which many Caribbean nations including Bermuda rely on, has more than tripled in price over the last ten years, while the price for renewable energy has dropped as technological advances have encouraged market support.

A deal was struck in February this year between governments, foreign companies, energy experts and financiers that has put some Caribbean islands in line for more than $1 billion of green energy loans in order to reduce energy costs, with the US government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), US energy giant NRG, the German government, and others set to rapidly approve projects that can be shown to increase energy efficiency or generate renewable energy.

Mr Edness said that locally, there was no excuse for not attempting to drive down the cost of energy.

"If we're serious about saving money and reducing spending, let us look where the big dollars are spent, not the seniors.

"They're not costing the big, millions of dollars. That is being spent on energy costs — the importation of oil — and no one is doing anything to try and reduce that cost.

"Unless we do it's going to take this country many, many more years before it reduces our deficit and get people back to living a normal life without the pressure of not having the income of being able to live properly."

Read Full Article and Comments in the Royal Gazette 

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