Saturday, April 20, 2024

PM’s energy plans


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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart yesterday outlined several plans for a renewable energy programme intended to create a green economy and reduce Barbados’ energy bill within the next two decades.
He said Government studies indicated a renewable energy matrix could be achieved in the next 20 years where renewable energy generation would account for 29 per cent of electricity consumption with the remaining 21 per cent coming from conventional fossil fuel-based sources.
This was projected to bring down the cumulative cost of oil imports from US$2.648 billion to US$1.978 billion, and total electricity cost by US$283.5 million over the next 20 years.
The initiatives should also ultimately reduce the island’s foreign oil dependency, increase energy security and create new jobs under a sustainable energy policy which Stuart said he intended to vigorously pursue.
He promised requisite legislation for the operation of the renewable energy policy would be placed before Cabinet for approval by the end of the month and legislative amendments would be presented to Parliament by early next year.
“This policy and the attendant legislation are intended to ensure that the Barbados’ electricity sector should develop in a way that promotes the use of renewable energy while lowering the cost of power to the greatest possible extent,” Stuart stated.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) at Hilton Barbados,?Stuart detailed a list of projects, including energy retro-fitting of some Government buildings, installation of photovoltaic and wind systems in homes, waste to energy projects at landfills and other waste disposal sites outlined in a recently completed National Sustainable Energy Policy.
He said based on analysis of the renewable energy potential, Barbados offered possibilities for wind energy, biomass cogeneration, waste to energy and solar water heaters, all “economically and commercially viable” options when compared to the cost of diesel for electricity generation. 
Stuart suggested the private sector had a strategic role to play in the process.
He indicated Government was inviting strategic partnerships with energy service companies who wished to lease space of state-owned buildings for the generation of electricity.
In addition, he disclosed tenders would be going out for the supply and installation of photovoltaic panels on the roofs of 20 Government-owned buildings, including several schools.
Also, 28 homeowners would be provided with photovoltaic panels at a reduced cost as part of a Global Environment Project being executed in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank.
More than 300 stakeholders from around the globe with interest in renewable energy are in Barbados for the meeting which brings together prospective investors, Government officials, representatives of international donor agencies and entrepreneurs. (GC)


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