Mr Madeiros spoke about the progress that AES and Bermuda have made in renewable energy during the past five years. *File photo
Mr Madeiros spoke about the progress that AES and Bermuda have made in renewable energy during the past five years. *File photo

Bermuda could be doing more to promote renewable energy.

So says Tim Madeiros, CEO of Alternative Energy Systems (Bermuda) Ltd. (AES).

Mr Madeiros was a speaker at last week’s Third Annual Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF) Latin American & Caribbean Conference in Miami hosted by Euromoney Energy Events and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE).

Mr Madeiros focused his presentation on Bermuda’s successes to date in renewable energy and lessons learned for future development and growth of the industry.

Mr. Madeiros  outlined what has been done by the Bermuda Government over the past few years, including the appointment of the Island’s first Energy Minister in December 2007, the release of the Bermuda Energy Green Paper in September 2009, followed by the Bermuda Energy White Paper in July 2011.

The three-day conference attracted more than 200 senior level financiers, bankers, developers, government officials, investors, policy drivers and renewable energy industry professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean. It focused on the rapidly changing state of renewable energy finance, and offered insights about the path ahead for the Central, Latin American and Caribbean markets.

Data on the progress made to date by the renewable energy industry in the region was reviewed and discussed. This enabled Mr. Madeiros to assess Bermuda’s progress on renewable energy strategies and installed capacity compared to the progress of other countries in the region, many of which have Island grids like Bermuda’s, but none of which pay as much as Bermuda does for electricity — 44 cents per kilowatt hour.

Mr Madeiros said in a press release: “Despite the incremental progress made by the renewable energy industry in Bermuda since 2008 it is clear that without formal policies and/or legislated residential and commercial interconnection standards and feed-in tariff rates, future growth of the industry in Bermuda is likely to be negligible.

“I was able to share details on the progress that AES and Bermuda have made over the past five years, discuss the challenges that lie ahead and the issues that still need to be addressed for the future of renewable energy in Bermuda. While there I also met with a number of senior industry representatives and discussed what other countries in the region are doing to continue to grow their renewable energy industries.”

Mr. Madeiros said: “The facts and figures presented at the conference by the Worldwatch Institute and Bloomberg New Energy Finance ranked Bermuda far behind many of our neighbours in the region, such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. Aruba has set an aggressive target of 100 per cent renewable energy by the year 2020. Industry experts found this fact to be counterintuitive given that Bermuda has such a high GDP, a firm credit rating, easy access to capital and by far the highest energy prices throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

Mr. Madeiros added: “Bloomberg New Energy Finance stated that in 2012 there was a 120 per cent increase in renewable energy investment in Latin America, adding up to $10 billion. This has not been reflected in Bermuda’s growth, so there is huge potential for development in renewable energy in Bermuda now and in the future. I look forward to working with all the players to make it happen.”