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September 15, 2009



Great article and very factual. It should be noted as well that a number of people at the meeting spoke of solar and wind as alternatives and although the technology is not there now we need to look at it a lot more closely. If BEC could buy back power from consumers - or at least allow the meter to run backwards - many would move forward with solar and wind on their own


One issue facing BEC and Government is that the consumers who would self-fund getting off the grid are the consumers that pay their bills on time, consume in the higher tiers of $ per KW, and are not subsidized.
Economies of scale would diminish, leaving BEC in a sorrier state than ever, and requiring even more Government subsidy.
Energy self sufficiency is feasable for those who can afford the high initial costs, but zoning and elctrical inspection regimes have to be set up.
And we all know what that will entail.
I have 5 windmill generators right now, ready to go up but, I wonder what my neighbours will have to say about 40 ft towers being erected in my yard?
Solar panels are less obtrusive, but are also the most costly.


A classic example of how neither the PLP nor the FNM appear to be able to act as qualified leaders of our country and that they don't care about the opinions of any of the "other" people of the bahamas.

F Knowles

I wonder if more cannot be done now to pursue renewable energy sources. It seems that technologies would have grown significantly since the initial proposals for a new plant in Abaco were hatched. I got the feeling after the meeting that they were just too far into it now to be willing to turn back, and that it had more to do with that and less to do with the feasibility of an alternative such as wind turbines. I personally don't think it's ever too late to make a change in plans for the better (if possible). .


"But at this rate, we will all be dead before any effective energy policy or fossil fuel reductions can be implemented."

I don't car about that. Just let me bring in whatever alternative energy equipment I want to put on my house. Let me let my neighbours plug into me whenever there's a black-out. Let me charge them for it. And maybe before I die also let me sell my excess energy back into their grid! Simple. Those who can, will do it. Those who can't will want to do the same once they get tired of me bragging about my $0 - $10.00 monthly light bill.

Solar panels and other technology is on the verge of taking off in grossly unregulated areas like shanty towns in Brazil and India. Especially india where they have banks offering sensible micro-loans.


"Economies of scale would diminish, leaving BEC in a sorrier state than ever, and requiring even more Government subsidy."

Let BEC transition into a new role and business model! BEC can buy the solar panels (in bulk) and sell/lease them to the public. Then they can charge for installation. If I install them myself then they can charge me to have them inspect my work. And charge me again to get a proper certificate/permit proving it was installed properly (preventing the need for unnecessary futuer inspections). And they can charge me again to take a short course or test to prove I really can do it properly for myself and other and if I feel like it they can charge me again to get a proper license to start a business installing solar panels for other people. Then a couple dozen solar panel installation companies spring up, slightly reducing BEC's need to do hire and train ton of people to get all the equipment installed. Great assist to the employment problem.

THEN other countries wanting to follow our lead will need dozens of our semi-trained semi-professionals to travel to their country to train their people and start the installation process while their people are still in training.

...how much further down this path of thinking do I need to go....

larry smith

Sure - except that BECs interest lies in preserving inertia, so that their cozy little world of excessive salaries, benefits and perks continues ad infinitum.

Dwayne W.

How much does BEC spend on salaries and/or overtime anyway? Is that not the main reason the costs are so high?

Dr Robert Fritz


Erasmus Folly

Let me get this straight:
1. BEC is a government monopoly charged with providing power at a reasonable price to the Bahamian people.
2. BEC currently makes money in New Providence, but loses money in the family islands due to a lack of an economy of scale when producing power from fossil fuels.
3. BEC is losing money overall.
4. More than 25% of our foreign reserves bleed right back out of the country for fuel and energy.
5. Government is scared to open up alternative power because it would make BEC unfeasible.
6. Government really wants to protect its 'revenue', a loss making corporation.
7. The Bahamas government thinks the above 6 points are logical?

First, open the family islands to alternative power development right now.
Second, slowly integrate a solar power business and wind business into BEC by allowing BEC to subcontract solar tech and wind tech companies.
Third, bring the top solar and wind tech companies, internationally, and offer them massive investment incentives to set up shop in the Bahamas.
Fourth, become a leading country in the green revolution.

Why is this so difficult for our government to understand?

Rick Lowe

Isn't it just marvelous Erasmus Folly?
If it wasn't so serious it would be funny.
One question on the wind issue.
When I was in Ontario this August there was a debate raging on CBC and in the newspapers about illness caused by the wind mills etc.
Larry provided some info on his Facebook page today, but that might be worth elaborating on?
Just open BEC up to competition and let them (the competition) figure it out!

Erasmus Folly

On this, I think we are all agreed. Except for the government, it seems. For me government should provide leadership, but when demonstrably incapable, it should get the hell out of the way. BEC needs to get out of the way!

Gov must also lower duties to unlock growth in the domestic market. The labour market simply will not expand until gov makes shopping in Nassau competitive vis a vis Miami. Their tired BS about this is a low tax environment is total BS. It is for individuals, but not for companies doing import/export. Until they accept that hard, cold economic fact, the job market will remain flat.

Stupid government! FNM slightly better than PLP, but both are jokers at the end of the day.

I wish we had some smart leadership. This country is so small and manageable, if we weren't befuddled with ostentatious egomaniacal morons for politicians. We need a CEO and a CFO, not these political idiots with no understanding of basic economics.

2 cents of the day.

Andrew Curry

As we speak, FPL in Florida is building a 75 MW solar thermal energy plant. There is no question it can be done. Yes our leadership is a joke but we citizens must be involved. This meeting showed that the people can get Government to open there eyes , if only for a micro second. Now we need to keep it up and not just for a power plant but for all the ways Abaco gets shafted by our Abaco Prime Minister.

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