Fri 4th Nov 2011

Abolish Vinlec's monopoly and bring in renewable energy

It is time for change.

A European Union country, with knowledge and expertise in renewable energy, is willing to help SVG Green Party bring in renewable energy in SVG. This will stimulate the SVG economy and create high-paid, skilled jobs and a good flow of revenue creation. More importantly, renewable energy will create cheaper electricity, lower bills and enhance people's living environment since less oil will be imported.

SVG must take this golden opportunity to abolish the unfair Vinlec monopoly on the sale of electricity. We must open the gateway for people and businesses with bright new ideas and let them move SVG forward.

Vinlec should have been focusing on moving SVG forward with renewable energy and providing cheap and reliable energy for our blessed country. Instead, Vinlec is inefficient in its administration and alarmingly large sums of money that could have been invested in renewable energy have been wasted on administration expenses.

The ULP regime lacks the vision to see how renewable energy provides social, environmental and economic benefits, especially to small island economies such as SVG. With renewable energy, the fuel surcharge on light bills will be history.

When we abolish Vinlec's monopoly, we will have cheap electricity and households will have more disposable income to spend on food, education and health. This will boost our economy, especially in rural areas.

Having access to affordable and clean sources of electricity will substantially improve the quality of life and the standard of living of the poor in SVG. Our country is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy sources.

The most important benefits of renewable energy are the fact that it is non-polluting and produced without depleting natural resources. Once poorer households get cheap electricity, we will see fewer trees being chopped down and this will help preserve our forests and reduce flooding and landslides.

Presently, the incompetent ULP regime wastes $96 million annually on oil imports for electricity. This strategy just creates jobs in Venezuela and perpetuates poverty in SVG, as many households cannot afford electricity. Renewable energy will change this as there will be no need for imports of oil. The money saved could be invested in education and health and create jobs in SVG.

Climate change concerns are increasing investment in renewable energy industries worldwide and in 2010 total investment globally reached US$211 billion. SVG is being left behind because of the short-sighted ULP regime and the Vinlec monopoly law.

According to a projection by the International Energy Agency, solar generators may produce the majority of the world's power within 50 years, slashing the emissions of the greenhouse gases that harm the environment. Solar alone could produce most of SVG's electricity needs, yet the ULP regime persists with fossil fuels and fossilised thinking. Their energy strategy belongs to the dinosaur era.

SVG Green Party believes that the incompetent ULP regime should step aside so a Green government can pass legislation in the SVG House of Assembly that will abolish Vinlec's monopoly and bring relief and jobs to the people of SVG.

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