Minister Roban Tables Energy White Paper

July 16, 2011

Minister of Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy Walter Roban yesterday [July 15] tabled the 2011 Bermuda Energy White Paper.

The Minister said, “This White Paper provides a nine year plan that will guide Bermuda to take an increasingly sustainable approach toward the production and consumption of energy.”

“If we do not act, sooner or later the cost of electricity, gasoline and diesel will exceed what we can afford. We simply must find more cost-effective and secure ways of meeting our energy needs.”

Minister Roban continued, “It is also important to recognise that achieving the goals of the White Paper extends far beyond the Government’s reach and will require participation from the whole community.”

The White Paper can be seen below together with a video of Minister Roban speaking about the energy plan.

The full 93-page Energy White Paper is below, click ‘Full Screen’ for greater clarity:


Minister Roban’s Comments Below:

Good Morning/Afternoon Everyone,

I am delighted to stand before you today to present the much-anticipated Energy White Paper…which was tabled in the Honourable House of Assembly earlier today.

This White Paper provides a nine year plan that will guide Bermuda to take an increasingly sustainable approach toward the production and consumption of energy. The paper outlines how we will begin a path toward an alternate future not bound by fossil fuels, but one where we conserve energy, use energy more efficiently and harness indigenous renewable energy resources.

It is a plan we are proud of and one that I am confident will provide an excellent example to other small-island jurisdictions.

This paper is the culmination of many years’ work by a few dedicated individuals, including former Ministers with responsibility for this including Terry Lister and Michael Scott. I also want to acknowledge the team at the Department of Energy including Director Ms. Jeane Nikolai, Messrs Alan Bean, Chris Worboys and Tiago Garcia. This work began as far back as April 2008 with the formation of the Department of Energy as a response to a specific recommendation of this Government’s Sustainable Development Plan.

Upon formation of the Department, work began immediately on the development of a Green Paper on energy, which was subsequently released in February 2009 to initiate a national consultation on our future energy policy.

Responses were solicited and received from the public between February and October 2009, and work began on the White Paper in August 2009.

During this time, there was extensive consultation with industry members, other Government departments and non-Governmental organizations.

It is noteworthy that this Paper was produced in-house, without the use of foreign consultants, by a completely local staff.

Some may ask: why does Bermuda need this White Paper?

The answer is provided by considering the two most critical issues in energy today: energy security and climate change.

To explain the first, the primary threat to energy security in Bermuda is the impending threat of peak oil – the time at which the world’s production of oil peaks and thereafter enters a period of terminal decline.

As this occurs, oil supplies will become increasingly limited, pushing prices ever upward.

Unpredictable changes in the political climate in other parts of the world have been clearly shown to erratically affect the price and supply of oil – impacting us all directly. The continued economic expansion of emerging nations and their near insatiable requirement for energy also raises issues for small oil dependent jurisdictions like Bermuda.
If we do not act, sooner or later the cost of electricity, gasoline and diesel will exceed what we can afford. We simply must find more cost-effective and secure ways of meeting our energy needs.

The second issue, climate change, threatens our entire way of life if not addressed. Climate scientists have made it clear that greenhouse gas emissions must peak within the next few years and then decline to less than one tonne per person, on average, by 2050 to avoid dangerous changes to the global climate.

Residents of Bermuda currently produce over 14 tonnes per person, which means we have a great deal of work to do, and we must begin that work now.

The White Paper on energy provides a plan to begin addressing these issues by reducing fossil fuel dependency, establishing greater energy security, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions below ten tonnes per person by 2020.

Fortunately, the technologies required to achieve the goals of the White Paper exist today and most are already affordable, so our goals can and will be reached.

For example, compact fluorescent lights are everywhere on the market, and they are not excessively expensive. Over the lifetime of a single compact fluorescent bulb, it is possible to save up to about $170 worth of electricity.

Solar water heating has become very affordable, the cost of installation almost negligible when considered in the construction phase of a building project.

Solar photovoltaic panels are becoming more affordable each year, with more and more panel manufacturers entering a hungry market.

Large-scale wind developers tell us that with a feed-in tariff of only around 20 cents per kilowatt hour, they can be profitable.

Rapidly developing issues with fossil fuel use – both environmental and economic – has led to a policy vacuum, and a need to improve the legislation already in place.

Implementing the policies contained in the white paper is not a task to be taken lightly. It will require a major and sustained effort over the next few years. It is also important to recognise that achieving the goals of the White Paper extends far beyond the Government’s reach and will require participation from the whole community.

This will be extremely demanding and will require nothing short of a national energy transition. These efforts will however change the direction of our entire energy future.

Many energy-savings measures are low and no cost, but some require some up-front capital investment, so we must be astute enough to see the benefits of those measures and what they mean to our ‘bottom line’.

For any initiative to gain traction in the private sector, it needs to be a priority in the Public Service. We, the Government, must lead by example. And this we will do.

However, individuals and communities must also mobilize themselves to become more energy efficient and to harvest indigenous renewable energy resources.

Working together with a shared vision will ensure progress is made for the benefit of Bermuda, her people and the natural environment on which we all depend.

The White Paper may be found at www.energy.gov.bm, together with information on how you can do your part by reducing your energy consumption and using renewable energy technologies.

I encourage the entire community to take any steps necessary to decrease our fossil fuel consumption and thereby join this transition.

Thank You.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Terry says:

    Another friends and family plan. Green house gases…bwahhaaaaaaaaout here in the middle of knowwhere. Yah gunna tell Onions to use a peddel cycle and ‘park and ride’? Just call the damn election. A “white paper”…sounds like toilet paper too me. I need a rum…..

  2. Good forward thinking and planning, Minister Roban !!

    • Terry says:

      You muss be spaciall girl…..Forward thinking? How many years the PLP been in control. Forward? More like backward.

      Next you’ll be giving him a Gold Cross and a Staff………………………

      • NO WAY OBA says:

        its called desperation, they all see a window of opportunity, the trump care the world down turn economy has dealt the illegal jumpers OBA MPs and they will literately take no prisoners to get win. Its about regaining power to replenish their own pockets.

  3. Fed Up Bermudian says:

    Seriously, Terry- how is this ‘friends and family’ plan?? How is this something scoff-worthy? Because no other administration’s done this before? How about we read it, and find out more about it before the knee-jerk reaction you exhibit. Or-are you capable of turning your attention to something like this long enough to actually get something out of it? You probably didn’t even read the first word.

    Usually I read your comments and derive at least some amusement, but you’re just way off- it’s just pure bile from you lately…worried about you, mate. Sounds like someone’s been cut off his black and coke. Whatever you’re drinking now ain’t working.

    • Tony says:

      Right, a nine year plan. In the meantime they can’t run a ferry service, bus service, schools, without cuts to save money. They build a pier for 25 million over budget and it starts falling down in a year. And suddenly they come up with a 9-year plan for something. What bs.

  4. Terry says:

    Well it sure ain’t the koolaid like the rest. 9 years? Call me when you get there.

    • Terry says:

      Tony, Tony, Tony,……Your a naughty bouy. How dare you come here on this site and make such statements. Can you back them up? I think you have been drinking too much P.A.T.I.

      Spike my drink once, I get a little buzz. Twice, it’s nice…3 times your OUT.

      Oh and Fed Up (Fed-Ex)…..I have been to the bilges, the engine room is flooded and the hull is bursting. Time for the quarter deck as the bow is becomming awash…….I really have no time to rearrange the deck chairs…someone already stacted them……sill me………………Yeah um fed up with the “bile” and um nut yah mate.

      • Independent Voter says:

        Won’t be voting for OBAers – they can’t be trusted to not go out and start a new party if the right monies are thrown their way

        • LOL (original) says:

          Guess you wouldn’t be voting at all then show me a politician that can be trusted when money is involved……………………………

          LOL

      • Fed Up Bermudian says:

        Love the implication that I’m an expat, you idiot. I can assure you that I am indeed Bermudian. Just because I don’t mock the lovely dialect of my countrymen, generally try to use proper grammar and orthography, and because I don’t spew out negativity doesn’t make me less Bermudian. Unlike yourself, I do believe there’s more to being a member of this club than just sitting back in my armchair and giving nothing back but anger, hatred and vitriol. The only thing we can do about the direction in which Bermuda is traveling is- well, to actually DO something. It’s not good enough to say ‘I’ve been there, I’ve worked there, blah blah blah.’ If you’re not willing to make a positive contribution, what’s your point? You’re damned straight I’m not your mate. I don’t surround myself with your brand of negativity. It’s only worth reading and writing about if you actually do something. As I understand, you don’t even live here anymore, so button it already. What do YOU care anyway, apart from smugly thinking you’re oh-so-clever and stirring the pot? Sheesh. Read the White Paper. It might have actually been written by civil servants who are apolitical and are actually tasked with trying to do the right thing. It might actually have a chance if people maintained an open mind. It’s not about politics, if you actually read it you’d see.

        Oh, forget it. I just realized responding to you is like teaching a pig to sing. Wastes of time, and annoys the pig. Never mind…