The BVI is blessed with abundant sunshine, ocean currents and trade winds that can be used to produce our own clean energy.
The BVI is blessed with abundant sunshine, ocean currents and trade winds that can be used to produce our own clean energy, so that we are less dependent on imported, expensive, and polluting fossil fuels. In 2015, we used over 14 million gallons of imported fuel, costing approximately $30 million, to supply our energy needs.
Our approach is to advocate increased renewable infrastructure in the BVI, demonstrate renewable energy technologies, and educate our communities about climate change impacts and local solutions. We want to stabilise the cost of electricity and reduce the number of power outages experienced.
We demonstrate and catalyse alternative and cleaner energy solutions to show what is possible as we transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner power sources and technologies. Demonstration projects include: A Solar Tree: Grid tie Solar Project; Electric Vehicles; Biofuel (Used Vegetable Oil); Anaerobic Digester.
ADVOCACY & RESEARCH
Green VI worked with Harneys in 2012 to advocate legalizing Renewable Energy in the BVI. We made formal recommendations in2015 Government’s Renewable Energy Legislation Act and submitted the first application for Grid Tie in line with the2018 Renewable Energy Regulations.We continue to advocate rebates, tax incentives and import exemptions on renewable energy technologies.
Green VI attended Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Los Angeles in 2019. We have a host of educational tools including presentations, site tours and a train the trainer programme.
Green Certification incentivizes, guides and educates businesses in best green operation practices and provides Bronze, Silver, Gold and Leader Accreditations. Developed in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the programme provides critical financial support to environmental betterment through its Green Fund, and will guide the “greening” of the BVI Public Service’s Strategic Policy.
Waste streams will be transformed into renewable energy that provides the power to produce beautiful works of art from recycled glass. This is innovative Upcycling at its best and brightest and brings together all our themes – waste, water, energy and education.
SOLAR PANELS INSTALLED
SOLAR TREES INSTALLED
To further the sustainability and teaching opportunities of the Glass Studio we will again incorporate the reuse of used waste vegetable oil (UVO) collected from local restaurants. Our new equipment will run primarily off of biofuel to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the studio, as well as decrease operating costs. By reusing vegetable oil we can also help alleviate major waste management problems such as grease clogging up sewer lines and drains as it cools and solidifies. In addition, we aim to run our We Recycle collection truck off of biofuel.
At Green VI, we choose to view a problem as an opportunity, and so our next exciting project is to design, test and implement an Anaerobic Digester that can convert a mixture of organic waste, sewage, and possibly Sargassum, into methane – a form of energy that is perfect for powering The Glass Studio furnace. Our new location will have the space and support needed to demonstrate this remarkable transformation of a waste stream into renewable energy.
GRID TIE PROJECT
Through Green VI’s donor network and a partnership with ATEC Engineering, 30 solar panels were installed at YEP (Youth Empowerment Programme) and will, hopefully, be tied to the Territory’s electricity supply soon. We await technical adjustments to satisfy BVI Electricity Corporation’s regulations so that power generated can be fed into the grid. This is a huge first step toward widespread use of renewable energy in the BVI. Incorporating solar technology into the BVI’s energy profile will boost the economy, provide energy assurance, and decrease our carbon footprint and dependence on imported fuel. Expanding the solar industry also opens up new career fields (consulting, installation, maintenance, repair), earning capabilities and opportunities to actively participate in Climate Change solutions.
Donated to Green VI by Sunew – a world leader in Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) – the OPtree converts sunlight into clean energy through solar film integrated into the “leaves” and “stands alone”, needing no other power system. Visitors to the Noel Lloyd Action Park on Tortola can now sit down in the shade of the OPtree, charge their phones with power from the sun and see first-hand how the time for alternative energy in the BVI is now. The tree is capable of charging electronic devices (via USB), like smartphones, lights, media, etc. It is an independent (off-grid) and autonomous system with batteries located inside the system’s bench. Organic Photovoltaic Film (OPV) is the third generation solar cell technology. Through a fully sustainable production chain, Sunew’s OPV is the greenest energy generation alternative and has the lowest carbon footprint among solar generation technologies and be adhered to any surface, from smart buildings glass facades to vehicles and urban furniture.
Electric cars reduce carbon emissions that cause Climate Change. Green VI’s bright red electric car on Virgin Gorda, and our white one on Tortola, catch the eye and clearly demonstrate zero emission success – plus big reductions in running costs. Our Nissan Leafs run solely on electricity and do not need any gas or oil. Take a look – no exhaust smoke! We spend less than $40 USD per month to power each car – simply plugging it into an electric outlet to charge – and maintenance is minimal. We’ll run them off of solar panels soon and – yet another big plus – they are extremely quiet.
In 2011 and 2012, Green VI joined the worldwide 350.org movement. The number 350 means climate safety: to preserve a livable planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 414 (May 2019) parts per million to below 350 ppm.
Through our outreach programmes, we advocate for clean, safe water, its efficient use, safe storage and the reduction of chemical loads entering our land and marine water supplies.