Business

Government seeks feedback on fuels policy

  • Fuelling Bermuda: the Department of Energy wants to change Bermuda's fuel mix in the coming years and is seeking public feedback on its ideas

Electric buses and natural gas for electricity generation are among the ideas put forward in the National Fuels Policy discussion paper.

The Department of Energy has published the 27-page document and is now seeking public feedback on it.

The policy sets out the government’s aims of achieving a mix of fuels that is cost effective, secure and less polluting.

It includes details of policy aims for fuel usage in sectors including electricity and transport and reaffirms many of the aims set out in the Electricity Policy (2015) and the Electricity Act (2016).

It presents alternative projections for the year 2035 and claims that its policy aims would use 28 per cent less energy versus a “business as usual” scenario, with low-carbon fuels rising to 57 per cent of the total used as opposed to 4 per cent today.

Ideas proposed include the adoption of natural gas as the principal fuel for electricity generation, instead of the heavy oil and diesel burnt by Belco’s generators today, resulting in the use of 14 per cent less energy.

Also outlined is the intention to have a fleet of public buses running on electric, hybrid, or alternative fuel-powered motors, as well as more fuel-efficient public ferries.

The page document, which is available on this webpage under the heading of Related Media, can also be found on the Bermuda Government web portal or in hard copy from the Department of Energy at the Government Administration Building, 3rd floor, 30 Parliament Street.

The deadline for written comments on the policy document is close of business on July 7, 2017, submitted via e-mail to energy@gov.bm or by hand at the Department of Energy, Government Administration Building, 3rd floor, 30 Parliament Street.

The Department says it will review all information obtained and respond to each submission.

Jeane Nikolai, Department of Energy director, said: “Fuels is another essential pillar of the energy sector which directly affects the local community and economy. The New Fuels Sector Policy will mark the beginning of Bermuda’s road towards a fiscally transparent, efficient and environmentally sensitive fuel regime.”

The Department of Energy is working with stakeholders to develop new policies for the fuels industry, including assessing new fuels and technologies, ensuring fuel security, ensuring public safety, fuel quality as well as ensuring that fuels are at least cost.

There are eight goals set out in the energy policy. These are safeguarding fuel security, making fuels least cost, guaranteeing public safety and fuel quality, promoting environmental sustainability, fostering economic growth, ensuring affordability, and increasing administrative effectiveness.

“The policy proposal is the culmination of months of preliminary consultative work done by the Department of Energy with private sector and government stakeholder groups,” a government statement added.