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Nov 16, 2023

National Energy Policy Calls for More Local Production of Energy

The proposal for a National Energy Policy for Belize was presented in 2011, and over those years it took consultations with various sectors, and a call by the global community for countries to move towards greener sources of energy production. Today, the final product was presented. It calls for a reduction in fuel-based energy and an increase in renewable energy sources. It also calls for those renewable energy supplies to be locally produced. But part of the policy is also the way we manage the consumption of electricity and holding the companies that make the appliances we import to a certain standard. This could mean that some brands will no longer be imported into Belize. News Five’s Marion Ali was present for the launching at the Roaring River Golf Course in Roaring Creek and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Currently, Belize relies on Mexico for roughly fifty-one percent of the electricity that we consume, but if this Energy Policy that was launched today is successfully implemented over the few years, then we should be producing most of the electricity that we use. The transition from fuel-based imported energy to home-based clean energy from renewable sources has become a priority in the face of global warming, expedited by greenhouse gas emissions. Minister of Energy, says this policy is expected to set the energy sector’s framework for the next seven to ten years on where Belize wants to be in terms of adhering to the global call for cleaner, sustainable energy production.


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Minister of Energy

“We want to achieve where we have the majority of sources of energy in Belize coming from renewable sources: solar, wind and water, as well biomass. We’re looking at waste-to-energy projects, so what this policy really does is setting the parameter of where we want to go in the very general, broad terms. The idea is that between 2030 and 2035, we’re going to have about 70% of our energy sources from local renewable sources. That is really the goal.”


The E.U has played a key role in assisting Belize with the transition. Through the Light Up Belize program, they have been working with our country to create the National Energy Policy.

Xavier Canton-Lamousse

Xavier Canton-Lamousse, E.U. Project Manager, Belize

“The E.U Green Deal’s target is to reduce greenhouse gases by 55% in 2030 and move into the first climate neutral continent in next 30 years. The energy transition is at the art of the European Green Deal. The E.U in the last ten years played a crucial role in increasing an improving energy access in countries all around the world. Together we can achieve the transition to access clean, affordable and reliable energy.”


The Belize Sugar Industries Limited currently produces between twelve and fifteen percent of to the national grid of electricity through its investments and its contributions henceforth will be in helping to protect the environment with its emission system.


William Neal

William Neal, Communications & Government Affairs Officer, B.S.I.L

“BELCOGEN, when it was initially implemented – $100 million, you know. We have the capacity to actually expand and we’ve been doing more environmentally-conscious investments. For example, the emissions system, to make sure that the exhaust is pure that is going back into the air. So nothing without investment can really improve or increase. It’s a kind of double-edged sword. We want the investment and we have the potential but you need the environment for you to actually make the investment. B.S.I continues to invest over and over from the factory to the power plant, and it’s the power plant that is the important part because without the power plant you can’t improve on your efficiencies at the factory. It’s not just going for green energy. It’s also making sure that your carbon footprint is decreasing as well.”


Belize National Gas Company is also a part of the effort.


Daniel Gutierrez

Daniel Gutierrez, Director, National Gas Company of Belize

“Can you use liquid fuels to provide power for Belize? Absolutely. In fact, in the smaller islands of the Caribbean, they use dirtier bunker fuel. We’re not even saying that. We’re saying let’s use much cleaner, low. We want us to back the renewable so we can go up and produce a renewable that the ambitious goals are calling for. Without the liquid reliable gaseous fuels, we’re not going to be able to meet those goals.”


Also key to the transition will be how the public understands how the transition will affect us in the purchases we make. Lloyd Orellano is a Standards Officer with the Bureau of Standards. And it might means that some of the brands of appliances we now import might not be sold in Belize anymore.


Lloyd Orellano

Lloyd Orellano, Standards Officer, Bureau of Standards

“It will phase out the less energy-efficient products in the market and if a product does not comply with the standards at the point of importation, guess what, you can’t import it.”


Marion Ali

“So if I like a certain brand of products, but that just doesn’t fall within the scope of what you guys do, then I will stop seeing that product?”


Lloyd Orellano

“Yeah, it will not be available in the markets. Sadly, and the reality is that the less efficient products are the cheapest in the market.”


Marion Ali for News Five.

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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