The United Kingdom (UK) through the Governor’s Office is stepping up its commitment to supporting a greener BVI.
A press release disclosed that, in partnership with the Virgin Islands
Recovery and Development Agency (RDA), Governor John Rankin
, agreed to funding a new innovative renewable energy project costing $260,000.
On Monday, 1 November 2021, the Governor’s Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the RDA for the implementation of a renewable energy project which will see the installation of three solar power box systems across the Territory. The signing of the MOU coincided with the commencement of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) which started in Glasgow this week, 1 November 2021.
The COP26 summit brings parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and limit rising global temperatures to 1.5C. As host, the UK has urged countries to increase investment in renewable energy sources, reduce their carbon footprint by phasing out the use of coal, and ultimately mobilise finance in both the private and public sector to secure global net zero.
The Governor said “As world leaders meet to discuss the global climate change challenge at COP26 in Glasgow, I’m pleased to announce today funding for a new innovative renewable energy project in the Territory. For BVI, climate change impacts could range from longer, harsher hurricane seasons, to sea level rise, to, in the long term, risks to our food and water security."
He added, "This announcement is another important step in ensuring future resilience of the island and showing that renewable energy installations can be commercially viable option.”
According to the press release, the project, which is being led by RDA, will see the construction, installation and maintenance of new renewable energy systems at three locations in the BVI. Director of Programme Strategy at the RDA Neil Smith said that the systems will not only harness the sun’s energy and use it to provide energy for the structures but will also add resilience to the local community.
Smith said, “These systems will harness recent developments in the renewable market providing systems that are simple to install, cost effective and capable of running in a multitude of differing configurations that meet the requirements in the Virgin Islands
Smith added, “Using export limitation, which allows the user to set the amount of unused electricity that is returned to the grid, storage and islanding technology, the systems will demonstrate the versatility of current renewable systems and how they are now able to provide a significant contribution to the BVI energy mix.”
This project hopes to demonstrate to investors and users in the industry the commercially viability of solar energy. It will also enable further growth in the renewable energy market, supporting employment and skills development opportunities for the local community.
Ultimately, this renewable energy project is a step toward achieving a more green and renewable energy driven BVI.