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Nov 9, 2016

Considering Renewable Energy in the Home

Are you looking for ways to make your home or business more energy and electricity efficient? You may not know, but there are companies in Belize that can help you make big cost-saving changes. Today, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center held the first business to business energy waste and renewable energy fair in the city. News Five’s Andrea Polanco found out just how much opportunities exist in this market.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Belize’s first Business to Business energy waste and renewable energy fair was held in Belize City. The purpose is to bring businesses who are big electricity and energy consumers to meet with companies that offer renewable energy and waste to energy solutions.  The market is small but there’s huge potential at both household, commercial and industrial levels. That would also be a win for the environment.

 

Henrik Persson

Henrik Persson, Renewable Energy Expert, C.C.C.C.C.

“In the study, they told us that we have actually potential for about fifteen thousand households to supply themwith electricity through our waste; the bio-organic waste. And about fifty thousand households with hot water. Of course, if people ask if hot water doesn’t make sense, I would say yes, because everybody would be happier to have a warmer shower in the evening. For the industry, speaking, hot water also make sense because we have industrial processes where hot water is still needed today. You can turn hot water into process cooling, so you can use it into office cooling and save energy on this side. It is a win-win situation for all beneficiaries on the business side. We can all benefit from that. We can lower our fossil fuel consumption in using our waster in Belize and we could lower our dependency on fossil fuel to the outside, we could lower our foreign bill because we need to pay for the fossil fuel which we are buying to produce electricity. So, actually, it is not even a win-win-win, it is a win-win-win-win, that you can’t even stop the win situation here.”

 

Breaking into the waste to energy market in Belize is not easy, but there are several opportunities yet to be explored in niche areas. The renewable energy market is bigger and easier to tap in to from food production to breweries.  Persson says getting into renewable energy in Belize is can be done with the right technology, equipment and financing.

 

Henrik Persson

“Waste to energy, I would say is not so easy because first of all, the solid waste management has an agreement with a company who is already dealing with landfill. So there has to be lot of work and communication done to see what kind of waste to energy system could be implemented or if we look to other opportunities. We have heard of banana waste and sewage waste as opportunities to look at. But for renewable energy, we have DFC; they support renewable energy and energy efficiency. So any household or any business that would like to invest in renewable energy, they can go to the website from DFC and inform themselves on the program that they have. They offer a very low interest rate; I believe it is six percent for a loan and you pay back this loan through your savings. So what they say is install some kind of renewable energy or efficiency application for your house or your business. And with the savings you have every month you pay back your loan in one to two years.  Waste to energy management is more complicated. Waste energy is not just bio-gas; you also have gasification of wood waste. We have lot of lumbers in Belize and these wood waste has been wasted for more or less nothing. So with classification systems, we could directly produce electricity and heat out of these wood waste. Also with the solid waste we have at mile twenty-four, we could look into some gasification systems there which would capture the gas which is being produced by natural decomposing of the waste which is placed there. So there are many different systems available for the waste to energy market, but the scales need to be bigger to make them feasible.  It is easier for local business to invest in renewable energy like time modules and invert that to feed their own electricity grid or directly save LED lighting. The payback you get…for example, if you have night shifts and you light up the office twenty-four hours; with changing normal light bulbs into LED lights, you have paybacks of about six to eight months and everything after that is your savings. So you save up to eighty percent. So this is what business can immediately do.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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