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Sep 4, 2014

SICA Meets in Belize to Discuss Energy Cooperation

Joy Grant

Belize currently holds the presidency of the Central American Integrated System, SICA. That means hosting a round of regional meetings in different critical areas, like energy. This morning, directors from all member countries of SICA sat down in San Pedro to discuss energy. It’s a two-day session designed to allow SICA countries to strengthen cooperation in energy-related areas, and will also allow discussion of a wide-range of policy-related matters critical to the region. The meeting was opened this morning by Senator Joy Grant, Minister of Energy.


Senator Joy Grant, Minister of Energy

“We recognize that shifting the energy supply for electricity and heat away from fossil fuels is a key pillar. Last year, for example, Belize derived fifty-seven percent of its electricity from renewable resources, inclusive of hydro and biomass. Our goal is to have renewable energy provide at least eighty percent and ninety-five percent of electricity by 2020. To this end the Public Utilities Commission, in partnership with our Ministry, embarked on a request for proposals for new electricity generation including sixty megawatts of firm capacity and fifteen megawatts of variable renewable. The bids closed on May twenty-ninth. We received fifty-two bids, of which twenty-seven were for renewable energy projects, ten of these being hydro-carbon projects. The PUC has indicated that it intends to finalize its selection within the next ten days. Reducing energy intensity in the overall economy is an important priority. Our goal is to lower intensity by ten percent by 2020, and twenty percent by 2030, compared to 2012 levels.”


Topics on the agenda include providing electricity to rural communities, energy efficiency, energy efficient cook stoves, geothermal projects in the region, and renewable energy.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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