Local July 9, 2013 | 8:47 am

Expert reveals Dominican Government’s dirty coal plant scheme

Santo Domingo. – An Israeli environmentalist and clean energy pioneer on Monday unwittingly revealed what many people suspect; that special interests are behind the Dominican Government’s decision to fund two coal-fired power plants, despite rebuke from the pollution they’ll spew.

Yosef Abramowitz said two years ago he proposed to then president Leonel Fernandez, a US$300 million investment to install 100 MW plant within one year, but the government didn’t respond.

Speaking in a conference at Blue Mall hosted by the National Business Environmental Protection Support Network (Ecored) and the Dominican-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Abramowitz said he presented a new proposal to the government in December, this time to install a 50-megawatt plant, at half the initial cost, but again has yet to be contacted.

He said despite Dominican Republic’s geographical position and climatic conditions to generate twice the solar energy as other countries, that advantage has yet to be exploited.

He affirmed that given the fact that electricity is among the country’s main problems, a quick solution would be install solar panels to produce clean energy in less time, stressing that it ensures a rapid return on investment and long-term savings, “allowing the country to make a greater contribution in terms of environmental protection.”

Abramowitz, quoted by diariolibre.com, criticized the government’s announced coal-fired plants, instead of opting for renewable energy. "Solar energy is the future. Coal plants take years to perform and generate dirty energy, while solar panels are installed in less time and generate clean energy."

He said although the country has the opportunity to become a leader in clean energy initiatives, the solution depends on the willingness to change its energy generation and support by the government. "Dominican Republic pays too much for energy. If you want to boost your economy and overcome the nagging power problems, and work to improve the environment, then solar energy is the solution."

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