As the country embarks upon a development process and the modernization of the economy, it needs to address energy challenges. Belize is abundant in energy resources, particularly biomass which is forestry, hydroelectricity, solar and wind. Although these resources could play a central role in sustaining development, the nation remains highly dependent on imported energy sources. In addition, access to energy in rural areas is inadequate and public awareness regarding energy efficiency is low. It is in this light that the Capacity Development in Renewable Energy Policy and Mapping in Belize was kick started. With the help of the European Union working along with the Government of Belize, a grant of 27 million Euros has been secured for this project. Ambrose Tillett, Energy Director within the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, says improving energy access in rural areas would play a pivotal role in poverty reduction.
Ambrose Tillett – Energy Director, Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology
“The Prime Minister and the European Commission signed an agreement where the European Union is giving Belize a grant of 27 million euros between now and the end of 2020 over that period the money will be disbursed and the government has agreed that half of that money 13.5 million will be used to support energy transformation for sustainable energy and about 8.5 million euros will be used for the support of strengthening the health sector particular improving the resilience of the hospital in the western regional because when there is a major disaster in Belize City then there is another referral hospital that was the rational with the ministry of energy and the ministry of health being the two main recipients of this grant funds and now given that we now have that donor committed EU has now come and said we are willing to help you to program what activities you should and so. The technical cooperation is really as a first instance is to help us to help us to build a plan and set of programs of activities that will help us to move this fund, however, the amount of monies that the EU had was not sufficient for them to do the entire planning for all the activities that is going to be done only about half of it is going to be planned under this program, the second reason why they are here is because not only we have donor funds from the EU but we have donor funds from the World Bank, we have donors funds from the Japanese, we have donor funds from a number of other agencies and so one of the things that we are recognizing is that we really need to unify and integrate the way how we are planning and implementing our projects because each of these projects have a different implementing agency in some cases we are working with the climate change office in other cases we are working with the five seas, in other cases we are working in the field and so and then we are working across different stakeholders so what we are looking for in terms of guidance from these consultancies is what kind of institutional arrangements you have to make sure that what appears to be many different pieces are working together and that their synergy in terms of the planning and policy but also when you are implementing that even though you are implementing across different agencies it is being done in an effective fashion.”
In essence, the National Energy Policy of Belize will allow the entire country to meet its basic energy needs in a sustainable manner and to support and improve the national economy. The target date to meet this goal is by 2020.
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