Talking Renewable Energy In The South


In February, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities held a private sector forum in Belize City. They’re pushing an agenda of renewable energy sources – to get Belize away from a costly fossil fuel dependency.


Today, the Ministry took that message south to Dangriga – where they held a similar forum at the Pelican Beach Resort. Today, the buzz word was biomass – they type of energy produced at BELCOGEN from Bagasse, for example. Dr. Kenrick Leslie pointed to regional dependency on fossil fuel and its crippling effects:


Dr. Kenrick Leslie – Executive Director, CARICOM Climate Change Center
“When we had the spike in the cost of petroleum, some of the countries in the Caribbean had to fork out as much as 50% of their current earnings to purchase fossil fuel. If you have to pay out 50%, nothing is left for development, and therefore it is in our interest to try and change, come with a new approach in terms of using our indigenous renewable energy. Belize, as the minister said, is blessed because we have an abundance of different types of energy. It’s a question of how we mix it, and how we access it.”



Hon. Joy Grant, Minister Of Engercy Science and Technology and Public Utilities
“This is to engage with the private sector to hear what they are doing, to explain to them especially about renewable energy and how they can be involved in it.”


Ernesto Gomez – Senior Manager, Energy and Supply, BEL
“The total energy for last year that we consume was about 528,000 megawatts of energy. And of that 528,000 megawatts of energy, 250,000 – approximately 250,000 energy came from fossil base energy meaning that we’re buying all of this from CFE. It’s about 47% of the total energy were getting from CFE. Now we want to be able to turn that into national energy – nationally produced energy, renewable energy so we can replace that 250,000 with our local renewable energy.”


Hon. Joy Grant
“The ministry has been focusing on bio-mass; this is a country with about 56% still in natural cover, so the issue with bio-mass has always been that you’re using arable land for bio-mass when you should be using it for food. We don’t have that problem in Belize, we will be able to get natural resources to fuel bio-mass projects and initiative without taking away land from what is currently use for agriculture. So, I think that that is where we have our greatest potential.”


The next forum will be held in Corozal and then from the trio of meetings, the ministry will synthesize a cabinet paper on what changes need to be made to move forward in the area of renewable energy.