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IDB funds green energy initiatives in The Bahamas

Funding worth $30 million from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to put towards green energy initiatives in the jurisdiction. Government is hoping to reduce its energy consumption by 30 per cent and derive 30 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by the year 2030. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bahamas is exploring options for reducing energy consumption and adopting more sustainable technologies through projects funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

By partnering with the IDB, the government is hoping to reduce its energy consumption by 30 per cent and derive 30 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by the year 2030.

The IDB’s Sustainable Energy Program for The Bahamas allocates $30 million to fund efforts to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels and promote sustainable energy.

Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour launched the first phase of the “30/30” programme earlier this month with an initiative encouraging Bahamians to use compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs).

A total of 270,000 CFLs will be distributed to low-income households over the coming months. According to Minister Neymour, the use of these bulbs can cut energy consumption by a third.

Addressing attendees at the ceremony to launch the programme, the Minister said: “Although we grasp and appreciate the significance of saving energy, there are many challenges to implementing renewable energy sources, which include the high initial start-up costs to provide the energy source and changing the behaviour of customers.”

In its second report, released September 2010, The Bahamas’ National Energy Policy Committee estimated that hotels in The Bahamas could save up to 53 per cent of their energy costs, and residential households had an energy saving potential of 57 per cent. In addition, the report showed that oil imports have risen dramatically in the last decade, growing from $273.3 million in 2001 to $1.147 billion in 2008.

To reduce this figure and realize the country’s energy saving potential, the committee–in collaboration with the IDB and the Bahamas Environment, Science and Technology Commission–is looking to waste-to-energy technologies, bio-energy, solar power, wind power and ocean energy.

Future IDB-funded energy saving projects will include installation of solar water heater systems and running trials of solar photovoltaic technology to capture and use the sun’s energy.


Central Bank has released its monthly report on economic and financial sector developments in The Bahamas. The Bank monitors these conditions as part of its monetary policy mandate, to assess whether money and credit trends are sustainable relative to levels of external reserves required to protect the value of the Bahamian dollar and, if not, the degree to which credit policies ought to be adjusted. Download the full report here.

Although details about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that will come into force January 1, 2013, remain sketchy at this time, industry leaders are warning that the impact of the new US tax initiative may be far-reaching. In an excerpt from an interview with The Bahamas Investor, principal at Prime Advisory Group, Benno Räber, says that the new standards will change the industry and the way financial intermediaries do business with US clients.

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