Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations
The priorities for the development of the British Virgin Islands National Energy Transition Strategy were discussed when the National Energy Strategy team met on Tuesday, February 13.
The priorities include resiliency, reliability, low cost, environmental stewardship, and job and industry creation.It will shape how the Territory continues to move forward with energy and find which energy sources, particularly renewable energy, is suitable for the Territory.
Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark Vanterpool said that a group from Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is working with the ministry to assist in the strategy process and devise the best ways forward in establishing renewable energy.
Honourable Vanterpool said, “Both in our energy programme and the energy policy, renewable energy is a major portion and we are looking forward to this group working to help us to get to that renewable energy goal.”
Manager for RMI, Kaitlyn Bunker said the Rocky Mountain Institute is part of a broader programme called the ‘Islands Energy Programme’.
Ms. Bunker added, “We partnered with several islands in the Caribbean to do long term energy planning, near term implementation of renewable energy projects, build capacity in the energy sector and foster knowledge sharing.”
RMI has successfully completed analysis for energy in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.Both governments are currently executing suggestions made by the institute.
The Ministry of Communications and works has conducted prior meetings with stakeholders to receive input and suggestions to be considered in the British Virgin Islands National Energy Transition Strategy.These suggestions will be considered for the findings in the analysis by the National Energy Strategy team.
The National Energy Strategy team consists of the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation, UK Royal Engineer, representatives from the Rock Mountain Institute and other key stakeholders.
Efforts being made towards alternative energy are a part of the over-arching Renewable Energy Programme which is a ten-year Energy Vision for the Territory that commenced in 2013. This programme includes the Energy Policy passed in the House of Assembly on October 13, 2016, the solar street lighting pilot programme and the Renewable Energy Education Campaign launched in 2016.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to finding reliable and resilient energy solutions in an effort to building the BVI Stronger, Smarter, Greener, Better.
The Government of the Virgin Islands developed a ten-year Energy Vision (Renewable Energy Programme) with the following targets:
- By 2023, 30% of the Territory’s energy needs, are to be met by renewablemeans;
- By 2021, a decrease fossil fuel imports by 20%;
- By 2021, a reduction in fossil fuel inputs to electricity by 80% on Anegada.
- Courses in Renewable Energy commenced at the H. LavityStoutt Community College in the summer of 2014.
- In May 2015, the British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (Amendment) Act 2015 was passed amending the 1979 ordinance allowing provision for the development and management of renewable energy. This means, private companies and individuals, with the approval of the Ministry of Communications and Works and the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), can produce energy through renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, etc.
- In April 2016, a Renewable Energy education campaign was launched to educate students on the importance of renewable energy as well as reducing, reusing and recycling items towards a greener, cleaner environment.
- The Energy Policy is a guideline on how the Territory of the Virgin Islands should execute its alternative energy initiatives and was passed in the House of Assembly on October 13, 2016. The policy also precedes the implementation of the Renewable Energy Programme which is the overarching action plan.http://www.bvi.gov.vg/content/energy-policy-virgin-islands
- Following a solar street lighting pilot programme, 50 solar street lights were purchased in 2016 and are being installed in select areas.
- Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an independent, apolitical, nonprofit think-and-do tank that transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure future. RMI’s staff of scientists, engineers, and business leaders has helped governments, utilities, large corporations, innovative startups, and communities understand and benefit from the new energy economy with the imaginative application of rigorous technical and economic analysis. Cofounded by Amory Lovins in 1982, RMI has been a leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy for 35 years.
- RMI’s Islands Energy Program accelerates the transition of island economies from a heavy dependence on fossil fuels to a mix of energy efficiency and renewables—and creates a blueprint for other isolated economies. By unlocking the unique challenges islands face, they are supporting islands to move beyond clean-energy roadmaps to tangible, on-the-ground results. RMI is a neutral third party with no special interests or preferred vendors.