April 7, 2008
With renewable energy to become a reality in Nevis, the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has embarked upon putting the legislative legal framework in place to govern the area of renewable energy to be adopted by the NIA. Legal Advisor to the NIA Mr. Patrice Nisbett made the remark during a press conference held at the Conference Room of the Administration Building in Charlestown, on April 4, 2008.
“As the Legal Advisor and the person responsible for the legislative agenda and for drafting legislations in Nevis, we are here this week working along with two gentlemen from the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to finalize what would be the best piece of legislation that would be enshrined in the law and subsequently set out the Legislative Framework for which Geothermal Energy would be governed,” Mr. Nisbett said.
According to the Legal Advisor, the natural consequence of what is contained in the relevant legislation would address license, permits and concessions. He also said models related to purchase agreements were also looked at, which would be amendable to both the provider of the electricity and the buyers of the electricity.
“We want to be in a position that when we would negotiate that at least the NIA have the relevant documentation to negotiate effectively for the people of Nevis,” he said.
The legislations definition section he said would define the key terms in the legislations. “It would define key definitions related to the body of the legislations, which was a more important aspect of the legislations.” Mr. Nisbett also added that the legislation would cover environmental and safety concerns.
He also revealed that under the legislation, there would one persons appointed with responsibilities for geothermal and resource promotion of geothermal energy education Another person would be appointed under the legislation with responsibility for ensuring that whatever conditions were put on the licenses, they were complied with.
Mr. Nisbett indicated that the NIA would need the assistance of the OAS and UNIDO for young persons and other interested persons to pursue renewable energy studies to empower the people of Nevis to manage their resources.
Present at the conference was Junior Minister Responsible for Works, Public Utilities, Natural Resources and the Environment Hon. Carlisle Powel, UNIDO Policy and Legal expert in renewable energy resources laws and commercial transactions, Mr. John Armstrong, OAS Energy Engineer Specialists Mr. Kevin De Cuba and Mr. Ernie Stapleton Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works.
Mr. Armstrong spoke on the importance of the legal framework and what the legislations would discuss. “A legal machine would create a scheme that would preserve the resources of the people over a good length of time. The Act discussed not only resources but it also discussed the economics of the resources and what it would impact. It also discussed safety issues that may arise. The advantage of geothermal energy is the most benign resource that I know of. It has very few environmental flaws. You got liquid gold underneath the soil of Nevis,” The UNIDO Policy and Legal expert said.