Belize has announced its intention to become fully powered by renewable energy, after joining the Carbon War Room’s high profile Ten Island Challenge.
The country’s government has this week announced ambitious targets to transition away from fossil fuels for transportation and energy on the Cayes, its outlying islands.
The Caribbean nation is expected to particularly focus on installing wind turbines and shifting the islands’ transport sector towards electric vehicles. Additionally, a partnership with Belize Electricity will hope to identify other renewable energy opportunities, and energy efficiency retrofits for hospitals will be explored.
Senator Joy Grant of the Belize Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, expressed the country’s enthusiasm for the project. “Belize is extremely pleased to join the Ten Island Challenge,” she said. “As a regional leader in the use of renewable energy, this partnership with the Carbon War Room and Rocky Mountain Institute will allow Belize to make significant strides in realising its renewable energy production target of 89 per cent in the electricity sector by 2033.”
Belize currently sources 60 per cent of its electricity from local hydro and biomass resources, and the remaining 40 per cent is from imported fossil fuel resources.
The challenge, set by Richard Branson’s environmental NGO and supported by the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Clinton Climate Initiative, has already been adopted by seven other Caribbean nations, including Grenada, St. Lucia and the Bahamas.
The NGOs maintain that island nations are an excellent test bed for clean technologies, as they are often reliant on costly and polluting imported diesel, meaning it is easier to make a financial case for switching to renewable energy.