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Call for renewable energy financing

Speaking at Accountants' Week last week, energy experts called for more financing by local banks for renewable energy projects. 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guilden Gilbert

Guilden Gilbert, VP of Alternative Power Sources, speaking at the annual Accountants’ Week, sponsored by BICA, at The Sheraton, Cable Beach. (Photo ©Dupuch/Harry Cutting)

Energy experts are calling for better access to finance to support the renewable energy industry, which can help businesses throughout The Bahamas significantly reduce their costs, they say.

Speaking at Accountants’ Week last week, Guilden Gilbert, vice president of Alternative Power Sources (Bahamas) Ltd, said local banks and lending institutions should support renewable energy projects and follow a model similar to the Canadian branch of the Royal Bank of Canada, which helps finance solar panel products in Canada.

“The local banks seem to be reluctant to finance renewables,” he said. “Hopefully we will see some movement in the banking industry to support the [renewables] industry.”

The Bahamas government has committed to increasing the percentage of energy consumption from renewable sources to 30 per cent by 2020.

Zanda Bonamy, mechanical technical trainer at the Bahamas Electricity Corp, said renewable energy could result in major savings for the country.

“In The Bahamas we are a land of sun and sea, both of which are renewable sources and can be used for our country,” she said. “The initial investments may be costly, but in the long term it will pay off. We need to use our human resources of creativity to drive our country forward.”

The Bahamas has been working with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) since 2009 to implement better energy practices and look at ways of developing renewable sources. The $30 million IDB Sustainable Energy Program for The Bahamas funds projects that meet this criteria.

Zanda Bonamy

Zanda Bonamy, BEC, Ministry of the Environment, The Bahamas, speaking at the annual Accountants’ Week, sponsored by The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), at The Sheraton, Cable Beach, Nassau Bahamas. (Photo ©Dupuch/Harry Cutting)

Accountants’ Week was held at the Sheraton Nassau resort and welcomed speakers such as Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle, Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder and chief executive officer and managing director of the Bahamas Financial Services Board Aliya Allen.

cmorris@dupuch.com

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