A Cooling National Energy Strategy for The Bahamas
The objective of the C-COOL initiative is to accelerate market transition to energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling solutions that will result in electricity waste reduction, lowered electricity bills for hotels and other businesses, government and residents, establish a standard, mitigate the environmental impacts of HFCs and compliance with international conventions signed onto by the Bahamas Government. The Bahamas is Party to the Montreal Protocol which establishes limits on the production and consumption of chemicals such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that destroy the ozone layer. The main goals of the National Cooling Strategy (C-COOL) are to limit the use and emission of hydrofluorocarbons in cooling products through national adoption of more energy efficient infrastructure and elimination of hydrofluorocarbons used in low efficiency air conditioners and refrigerants which contribute significantly to depletion of the ozone layer and to assist the public and private sectors in transitioning to more efficient mechanisms of energy generation. The Kigali Amendment requires that signatories to the Montreal Protocol and its Amendment execute a phase down/out of the production and consumption of HFCs by 2020 and in the case of developing countries such as The Bahamas, by 2024. The Bahamas was also a participant in the Carbon War Room's Ten Island Challenge, which aimed to reduce dependency on fossil fuels through pilot projects. The Bahamas' National Energy Policy (2013) outlines the countries goals for more sustainable energy future which include (a) national education and awareness (b) modernized energy infrastructure (c) leadership in implementing sustainable practices, (d) proper governance and (e) an institutional, legal and regulatory framework for advancing energy efficiency. The Bahamas also became a signatory to the SIDS-DOCK Treaty which provides countries with access to funding for transition and deployment to more energy efficient technologies. It has been said that The Bahamas can succeed in its objectives to limit production of GHGs by simply adopting more energy efficient infrastructure. A mass educational campaign will be planned to educate the general public on labelling and acceptable standards to make better decisions on their equipment purchases. In the hotel sector, development of a Product Registry is envisioned to track supplier sourcing, existing classes of inventory, procurement timelines and source financing options. The local hotel sector is interested in spreading awareness through green initiatives. Suppliers are also willing to educate customers on the long-term benefits of purchasing more energy efficient products. Local partners in this initiative include the University of The Bahamas, Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ), Ministry & Dept. of Public Works, Ministry of Tourism, Chamber of Commerce, Ministry for The Environment & Housing, Customs Dept. Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association. Project Consultant: LaToya Johnson; Regional Project Lead: Loreto Duffy-Mayers and UN Programme Officer: Brian Holuj. Interviews with key sectors/partners were conducted in late 2018 for development of a market assessment and stakeholder meetings were held in 2019 to review the results of the Market Assessment based on these outcomes and to review the Draft National Cooling Strategy Document.
The desired outcomes and expected achievements from implementation of the National Cooling Strategy (C-COOL) are numerous. They include the following: 1. National education and awareness of the negative environmental impacts from use of low energy efficiency products and importance of labelling in evaluating purchases and implementation of more sustainable energy practices and lower reliance on high-energy consuming products at the national level; 2. Establishment of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and product labels. 3) Technical and administrative capacity building to facilitate adoption of the standard. 4)Overall improvement in national energy efficiency through adoption of the standard in the Bahamas Building Code. 5) The education and awareness initiative, technical training, capacity building and establishment of a product registry are critical success factors in achieving in medium to long-term reductions in operational expenses of hotels and businesses in the tourism industry. 6) Compliance with Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which requires developing countries to initiate by 2024 a phase down of the production and consumption of hydroflocarbons (HFCs) in products currently imported and purchased by local vendors and used in most commercial and residential establishments in The Bahamas. 7) Implementation of the standard will enable access to GCF, GEF and other funding mechanisms and provide avenues for further technical support to government agencies. 8) This ties into the Bahamas' National Energy Policy (2013) outlining the country's goals for a more sustainable energy future, which includes the introduction of 30% renewable energy generation below 2002 levels by 2033. The Bahamas was also a participant in the Carbon War Room's Ten Island Challenge, which aimed to reduce dependency on fossil-fuels through various pilot projects. As a result, the Bahamas Government announced last May its intention to brorrow $14.6m from the Caribbean Development Bank for the proposed National LED Street Light Retrofitting Project in an effort to implement more "green" technology throughout the country, noting that street lighting accounts for more than 30 percent of the country's electricity consumption and roughly three percent of the country's overall energy consumption. 9) Through implementation of a National Strategy for Cooling, the C-COOL project will facilitate access to financial instruments as one possible solution to accelerate investment in more efficient cooling systems, thereby providing MSMEs with additional options for procurement of cost-efficient energy generation. 10) Much of the carbon emitted in The Bahamas is sequestered in mangroves throughout the country's island archipelago. Goal # 14, Sustainable Oceans, requires the protection of marine life and reduction of pollutants that degrade these sensitive eco-systems, affect marine life and increase climate impacts. The Bahamas can succeed in reducing its current volume of GHG sequestration by adoping more efficient energy infrastructure.