Government Committed To Shaping Bermuda As A Centre For Innovation Says Minister Walter Roban

The Government is committed to shaping Bermuda as a centre for innovation.  We have a reputation for innovation in the insurance sector, developing opportunities in Fintech, and we now want to be a centre for innovation in the Energy sector.  As part of Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan, creating an energy regulatory sandbox will encourage new renewable energy technology developers to test their products in Bermuda, allowing Bermudians the potential to access new technology. It also aligns with our effort to reduce the energy cost to benefit our economy, the pocketbooks of residents and businesses.

The reason for the introduction of the Energy Regulatory Sandbox, and in the interim, the Memorandum of Understanding, is to begin exploring possible clean and renewable energy solutions for Bermuda. It also encourages much-needed inward investment and allows space for innovators to test their technology. The new sandbox will encourage companies serious about pursuing innovative technologies in the energy sector to come to Bermuda.

Seabased’s proposal is very much in line with the need to reduce energy costs. Also, as mentioned in the press conference held three weeks ago, Mr Wendall Brown, as representative of Seabased in the Caribbean, introduced SeaBased, a company with a good track record testing their technology elsewhere, to this Government. Any assertion that Government sought this solution on its own is unfounded and misleading. Furthermore, this Government understands that SeaBased is not the only innovator in this space. The proposed sandbox regulations include best practices that will encourage other developers to come to our shores. The future of clean energy will consist of the global development of present and future innovative technologies not yet imagined. There will be room for growth.

As innovative energy companies begin looking to Bermuda, we will thoroughly assess them at every stage. To that end, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Seabased was necessary to bridge the gap between now and when the Sandbox Regulations are in place, anticipated for early in the calendar year of 2022. The Seabased MOU ensures the companyunderstands and agrees to abide by the steps involved. It does not give prospective developers the freedom to act as they choose. Also, and as part of the process, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and measures to ensure removal of the equipment at the end of the project’s lifespan is required.

Should this technology prove commercially viable and at a price that the island can afford, it will be further evaluated and considered for replacing some of the ageing generating assets being retired within the next few years. Also, apart from developing the Sandbox Regulations, the Government bears no costs for companies operating in the Energy Regulatory Sandbox.

The Sandbox Regulations are being developed with the understanding that we can no longer continue our stance of extreme risk aversion in the development of new technologies. We need solutions to move electricity generation and pricing away from the foreign fossil fuel markets’ fluctuations, dangers, and expenses.————————————————————————Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.

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