By Sir John Swan, Michael Murphy –
As I do periodically with regard to technical matters concerning the future and economic wellbeing of the island, I was recently discussing with my good friend, Mike Murphy, an issue that affects every one of us: Bermuda’s future energy policies. Where are we heading under the Regulatory Authority of Bermuda and Belco management, and will they keep the island cost-effective and competitive for future generations?
Mike was my ex-officio adviser and, eventually, partner in setting up the US/Bermuda Tax Treaty and legislative conditions making it possible to facilitate the development of the professional insurance/reinsurance industry in Bermuda. After comparing notes, Mike offered to do some research and reconvene. What follows is the result of our joint efforts and findings.
As a November 30 deadline looms for the RAB to receive public comments on Bermuda’s Energy Plan, it is essential that all of us focus on this important matter now and make their collective voices known to the RAB in writing before the deadline. The public opinion and size of the response will carry weight to determine the island’s fate with regard to future electricity costs and our environmental commitment in the world over at least the next 20 years.
The choices emerging for Bermudians are two: either the Belco Plan dated February 2018, relying almost exclusively — 85 per cent to 95 per cent — on fossil fuels to generate our electricity over the next 20 years or the more recently released Bermuda Better Energy Plan, projecting use of 64 per cent clean renewables of wind and solar power by the year 2038.
Under both plans, Belco remains the primary provider and distributor of the electricity.