Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Minister calls on private sector to make transition to green energy

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Minister of Energy and Business Development, Senator Lisa Cummins, is urging the private sector to make the difficult decisions necessary for Barbados to reach its 2030 green energy goals.

Speaking at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Monday morning during the Invest Barbados workshop, Cummins said that now was the time.

“We will not always agree, we will not always want to do the difficult things we are called to do but I am urging you because Barbados’ future depends on that,” she said. “Our future depends on that. We must work together. We must make this transition and I am depending on all of you to make the decisions that are necessary.”

Cummins, who was appointed the Minister of Energy and Business Development last October,  added that there was no time for stalling on the upcoming projects as Barbados are “at the back of the queue” for a lot of the decisions that are needed to be made with the 2030 deadline fast approaching.

“The rest of the world is not sitting and waiting for any of our agencies to go through academic exercises that satisfy our individual egos. We don’t have time for that. The global supply change is looking for the first to market, the first to get procurement, first to spend money and they are not interested in what our philosophy is,” she said.

Some of the participants at the Invest Barbados workshop Speaking at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

Cummins highlighted some of the tasks needed to be done

“We have a heavy lifting role ahead of us. We have an investment framework to develop, a new energy and investment plan to develop and an integrated transport plan as well,” the senator said, making note of the extensive transport fleet made up of electric buses.

“That is not enough,” she continued.

“Barbados has the capacity and it is our commitment that Barbados will use all the important work that we have already done, we are doing now and that we intend to do to pair with the energy sector, the business agenda, the investment agenda, the industrial agenda to make Barbados that lighthouse nation amongst all small island developing states.”

Cummins stressed that the philosophy of being a global beacon for small island developing states leads the nation into a gradual economic growth trajectory that is sustainable, that is renewable energy driven, but most of all people-centred.

The Ministry of Energy and Business Development aims to commence consultations in the next few weeks with the purpose of creating a brand new Electricity Supply Act. That draft is with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and was completed last November.

On a retreat in February, the Ministry in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank, began the process of transitioning the National Oil Company and the National Petroleum Company away from an exclusive dependence on oil and gas and into a renewable future. (JC)

 

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