Dr. The Hon. Grant GibbonsMinister of Economic Development Dr. The Hon. Grant GibbonsGreenrock met with the Ministry for Economic Development — which includes the Department of Energy — last week and made a forceful case for setting goals for energy conservation and for having a clear plan to meet the targets set in the Energy White Paper.

In the short term we recommend:

  1. Conduct energy audits on government property - this will help set energy standards for other buildings as well as reducing the Government's current $20M spending on electricity
  2. Include measures to cut energy use in the new Bermuda Residential Building Code
  3. Set, track and publish metrics for the government, the Sustainable Development Department and the Department of Energy. What gets measured gets done.

In the long term we recommend:

  1. Implement the 2011 Energy White Paper recommendation of mandatory energy standards for large commercial buildings
  2. Encourage renewable energy through measures such as
    1. Zone high potential sites for commercial scale wind, wave and solar energy; this will reduce the barriers to entry for new development
    2. Require that new power lines are sized to bring power in from the high potential areas - the current 'spider-web' shaped grid puts and emphasis on central generation of electricity
    3. Split the accounting for the grid and electricity generation in order to make costs transparent for renewable energy entrants.
  3. Require higher energy efficiencies in the building code for all buildings, but particularly for commercial buildings and hotels - this will become a positive for 'eco-tourism' marketing
  4. Install solar panels on government building, embrace energy efficient transport solutions including electric vehicles for government, natural gas buses and ferries.

We appreciate the positive attitude shown by the new government and will continue to push for a more sustainable approach to energy.

One interesting outcome of the discussion (and further discussions with Bermuda Engineering and other interested individuals) is that we are starting to define the questions that we need to answer to move our dependency off fossil fuel:

  1. What is the right energy 'mix' for Bermuda (What are high potential sources of renewable energy? what is feasible for 5 years time? 10 years time?)

  2. What are policy/govt initiatives which could reduce barriers to entry?

  3. What education/marketing is needed to increase acceptance/adoption?

If you would like to be involved in these discussions then email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See article entitled 'Govt’s Energy white paper will be revised' which appeared in The Royal Gazette, 16 Mar 2013

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