National Energy Policy to Be Presented at Cabinet Meeting
A National Energy Policy will be tabled at the next Cabinet meeting, according to Minister of Energy, Michel Chebat. The policy seeks to maximize local sources of energy in Belize, as well as to accommodate local households with the installation of solar panels. Minister Chebat spoke on the plans ahead in the energy sector during a ministerial panel at this year’s Investment Summit.
Michel Chebat, Minister of Public Utilities, Logistics and E-governance: “I am bringing this to Cabinet in the next two weeks and we are hoping that by the middle of October we will be able to publish this national energy policy that will set the pace and the direction of where the government hopes to go with our energy sector. We have also been working on our licensing regime in the energy sector and what that means is that it’s going to now open the possibilities for all different ranges, industry, individuals, to now participate in this sector and so that persons who wish to have for example solar panels on their homes will now be able to sell excess energy into the national grid and so this is new and exciting for our industry. It makes this more accessible to so many other persons. In terms of industry, those who have farms, shrimp farms and so on you now have the possibility of not only generating for your own purposes but perhaps also contributing to the national grid. As you all may know we have been importing energy from Mexico, about 51 percent of what we use in the country is actually imported from Mexico and so the government’s priority is to ensure that we have energy independence and security for our country. And how do we want to do that? How do we want to accomplish that? We want to do that by finding local renewable sources of energy and we have identified utility solar plants as one of the way to accomplish that. We are hoping that by 2025 we are going to have at least four of these solar energy plants on the ground. The Prime Minister has given us a very tight timeline for which we must comply and to make sure that we have solar energy on the ground. As you may know, we have been talking about solar energy in this country for at least 20 years but it is only now that it is becoming a reality and we certainly are proud to be a part of that.”