(2)  Reducing pollution created from burning and handling fossil fuels: Since we are burning a low grade oil for our turbines, there is a great deal of particulate and chemical matter being expelled into the atmosphere.  Currently, BELCo monitors this steam of waste and has assisted in the cleaning of roofs of those residents within a particular radius of their Pembroke plant. But reducing our dependency on fossil fuels to produce our electricity, will help reduce the environmental effects of this pollution. 

(3)  Creation of E-Jobs: by developing a renewable industry in Bermuda, we can help transfer blue-collar work that is currently be supported by the construction boom in this country and then apply it to a more sustainable job helping to build, develop and maintain renewable energy sources.  One of the key challenges in Bermuda is finding work that ‘young black male's are interested in doing.  This may provide such a vehicle.  Studies have shown in North America and in Europe that ‘green collar' work attracts those interested in physical, outdoor labour which gives them a chance to work independently or become self-employed.

(4)  Help provide energy for alternative transportation: Bermuda needs to examine ways of reducing how we currently use fossil fuels and by creating renewable energy platforms, we can possible provide a means to help fuel alternative modes of transport - electric or biofuels.

(5)  Bermuda can become a ‘Model Country' to showcase renewable technologies: Bermuda's insurance, investment, banking, and tourism pillars could be stimulated if we take an active role in promoting renewable energy projects.  Not only is Bermuda a great location to host conferences and seminars, it can also be a place where people can experience on a micro-scale how renewable can actual change a country - economically, environmentally and socially.

2. What types of renewable energy initiatives does Greenrock support?

Bermuda is never going to have large-scale renewable facilities.  Instead, we'll have commercial and micro-scale installations.  The types of technologies that Greenrock feels would be suitable on a small scale would be: PV Solar, Solar Thermal, Wind, Wave, Fuel-Cell, and Bio Mass.  From a Bio Fuel perspective: Bio-Diesel (using used cooking oil or unused vegetable oil), fuel derived from grass or plastic.

3. What membership approaches have been taken to encourage or educate the members of Greenrock about energy use and renewable energy use?

Greenrock has a number of initiatives to reach out to the General Public, here is a list of the major projects that we have participated in:

1) GR School Roadshow - you can look this up on our website

2) GR Green Office - you can look this up on our website

3) GR ‘Green School' Prototype project - we are working with Ministry of Education to design a prototype school that will showcase ways of making public schools ‘green' from a facility, education, and operational perspective

4) Annual Earth Hour event - you can look this up on our website

5) Participating in Dept of Energy ‘Town Hall' presentations - see ‘Energy Plan' under our website for details

6) In the future, we plan to conduct a series of educational forums primarily targeted at developing ‘Thought Leadership' in the area of sustainable living (which encompasses renewable energy).

4. What financing mechanisms would Greenrock support in terms of encouraging renewable energy uptake?

Greenrock feels that an independent energy authority or trust needs to be created to ensure the pricing and financing of renewable energy projects are properly established to avoid any conflicts of interest by Government Officials or by energy providers.  This authority can help initiate and financial support projects so that projects are not politically hijacked or become delayed through bureaucracy.  By having this independent authority, it has the power to raise capital through debt instruments which can provide an investment vehicle that can supplement the traditional investments that pensioners relied on when it came to dividend income.  BELCo and other types of industries in Bermuda were the traditional sources for this.  By creating this independent authority this will ensure any long-term contracts relating to renewable energy is able to stay in Bermuda and not be sent offshore to other foreign districts.  This is a key element of helping to create sustainable investment in our local economy.

5. What is Greenrock's relationship like with Belco and the Government of Bermuda in terms of energy and renewable energy initiatives?

Greenrock has provided advice to both BELCo and Bermuda Gov't (mainly through SDU, Dept of Energy and Dept of Planning).  We have meet behind close doors, at ‘Town Hall' session, or through the Planning Tribunals.  We have submitted our comments, posted our comments on our website, and have had our views written about in local Newspapers and broadcasted on local TV news.

Unfortunately, in Bermuda's current political climate, the willingness to do what is ‘right' is not always followed and is replaced by what might seem expedient or beneficial to those who are in power.

BELCo's relationship with Government is not great and could be improved.  The current Energy Commission that has recently been formed is not independent of the Minister of Energy's veto.  And so Bermuda's currently Energy policy is beginning to reflect the policy that Bermuda has taken to Planning in that the Minister of the Environment can allow development plans to be approved without the ‘check and balance' that should take place through the regular approval process - that is the Development Applications Board.

6. What is Greenrock's relationship like with the Bermuda community in terms of energy and renewable energy initiatives?

As noted in the projects outlined in Question 3, Greenrock has been in the community trying to educate the population on this important issue.  Unfortunately, other issues like the economy and violent crime has stolen the attention to this issue.  And those that are in ‘power' are drafting things and moving things along that suits their needs. 

There are many entrepreneurs who have jumped on the renewable energy bandwagon and are trying to carve out their ‘piece of the pie'.  And they are trying to raise their concerns to both BELCo and the Bda Gov't.  However, as I had stated in Question #4, unless a independent authority is given the power to tackle this issue, much of what will be created will at the expense of the long-term, sustainability of this evolution.

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