The Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has announced a major new energy goal for the territory:
Like many islands on earth, the USVI are almost 100 percent dependent on imported oil for electricity. Residents pay about 47 cents per kilowatt hour to light their homes and run their appliances. Imported oil is even used to desalinate the water because there is so little fresh water available other than what residences catch on their roof in the form of rain water.
But USVI Gov. John P. de Jongh Jr., working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the U.S. Department of Interior, has vowed to transform energy use dramatically. In January, at his State of the Territory address, he announced the goal of reducing use of fossil fuels by 60 percent in the next 15 years.
That’s huge, and a great challenge, and just possibly a blueprint for how to achieve those similar reductions on the mainland.
“What we’re attempting to do is integrate every large portion of renewable energy into our system,” said Karl Knight, the director of USVI’s energy office, who also is a board member of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority. Think of it as a pilot for how to integrate renewables as a large proportion of the grid.”
To get there, a half dozen different technologies need to be implemented, and energy efficiency will have to become a rallying cry.
The recipe to achieve a 60 percent reduction:
2 percent biomass
3 percent landfill gas
3 percent solar
6 percent wind
8 percent waste-to-energy
38 percent energy efficiency
Previous related posts on Green Antilles: The USVI Energy Efficiency Working Group reaches out to the public with a blog and Bringing green energy to Bonaire, Dominica, the USVI.
[Photo: Breezy Baldwin]