Acting Permanent Secretary in the Division of Energy, Cora Richards, and Chairman of the Enterprise Growth Fund, Terrence Thornhill, co-sign the Management Agreement and Trust Deed to bring the??Smart Energy Fund into effect. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

Faced with a staggering energy import bill in the region of $500 million, government was forced to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and concentrate its efforts on a green economy.??

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce made this observation yesterday during the official signing of the US $10 million Smart Energy Fund between government and the Enterprise Growth Fund Limited at Government Headquarters.

He added: "…It [import bill] gives us an additional impetus to move towards renewables for a number of reasons.?? Firstly, the level of foreign exchange which the country has to find to pay for the oil, secondly, if we are aiming for a greener country, then we need to move away from these fuels that generate more noxious emissions and thirdly, the higher the price of fossil fuels, the more investors would have the confidence to invest in renewable energy and make a profit from doing so."

Senator Boyce further stated: "Moving into renewable energy also helps you to create avenues for new industry and additional jobs and it provides opportunities for restricting of economies to ensure that it is not as sensitive to changes in the world price of fuel…" ????????????????

He admitted that while factors such as the high price of oil, propels the momentum to restructure an economy, he conceded that the exercise takes time and other factors must be taken into consideration.

"… Issues of the environment, reducing the vulnerability of the economy and the creation of new jobs for the youth, all contributed to the reasons for a push towards renewable energy," Senator Boyce emphasised.


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