Please allow me to respond to a Letter to the Editor published in your January 30, 2013 edition entitled “Belize really needs an energy policy” in order to inform the general public that Belize has had an official National Energy Policy(NEP) since January 2012.
The NEP clearly outlines the important role of energy to Belize’s social and economic development. More importantly, the NEP identifies concrete actions that collectively seek to transition Belize’s fossil-fuel based economy to a low carbon economy by 2030, using domestic renewable energy options such as wind, biomass, hydro and solar energy.
In recognition of the catalytic role of energy, science, and technology to national development, the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, established the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU), headed by Senator, the Hon. A. Joy Grant, to promote and champion these issues in our national development discourse. In September 2012, the MESTPU launched its five-year Strategic Plan. As it relates to energy, the Plan focuses on short, medium and long-term actions that seek to improve Belize’s energy security, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase the production of clean, renewable energy.
Both the National Energy Policy and Strategic Plan can be accessed online at our website www.estpu.gov.bz or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MESTPU).
Furthermore, and in an effort to accelerate the uptake of renewable energy and investment in renewable energy technologies in our economy, the MESTPU is hosting the first of three Private Sector Fora to engage the private sector in renewable energy initiatives at the Belize Biltmore Plaza on February 7, 2013. At the end of the session, the MESTPU will be better able to understand the barriers, challenges and opportunities in the private sector as it relates to the uptake of renewable energy. The data gathered from this forum will be used to prepare white papers to apprise Cabinet as well as to as assist in the preparation and formulation of policy instruments that will seek to sensitize private sector investment in renewable energy.
The public is invited to visit our website or interact with the Ministry via Facebook. Our friendly and competent staff will be happy to discuss the various initiatives being undertaken by the MESTPU.
Public Relations Officer