Thursday, July 9, 2015

Belize Going 100% Renewables As Part Of Richard Branson's 10 Island Challenge

The Caribbean nation of Belize is now aiming to go to 100% renewables, based on recent reports — with the idea being for all of its electricity needs to be met via renewable energy, and it’s transportation sector to fully embrace electric vehicles (EVs).

The announcement follows the country’s decision to join the Carbon War Room’s high profile Ten Island Challenge.

To be clear here, though, the new goal is for the country to receive 89% of its electricity via renewable energy resources by 2033 — with the longer term goal being to go 100% renewables.

The new plans call for a buildout of wind energy infrastructure, predominantly — complementing the country’s already substantial hydropower. Energy efficiency retrofits are expected as well, with hospitals being a possible first target.

The Belize Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities’ representative Senator Joy Grant commented on the recent announcement: “Belize is extremely pleased to join the Ten Island Challenge. As a regional leader in the use of renewable energy, this partnership with the Carbon War Room and Rocky Mountain Institute will allow Belize to make significant strides in realizing its renewable energy production target of 89% in the electricity sector by 2033.”

As it stands, Belize recieves roughly 60% of its electricity via hydroelectric and biomass infrastructure — the other 40% is supplied via fossil-fuel-fired power plants and/or generators.

For a bit of background here, the Ten Island Challenge was started by the Richard Branson backed environmental NGO The Carbon War Room, as well as the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

To date, 7 other Caribbean nations have signed on. The region is considered to be a good one to test renewables in owing to the reliance on expensive diesel generators. More