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Government is continuing to bolster its alternative energy initiatives with the planned introduction of electricity legislation in the near future.
This was announced over the weekend by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler, as he delivered the feature address at Standard Distributors’ 50th anniversary celebrations held at Accra Beach Resort, in Rockley, Christ Church.
He said that this month Cabinet would be asked to approve the final draft amendments to the Electricity Act of Barbados to allow "for an orderly deposit of excess electricity produced outside of the main power company, into the national Grid". Once this was done, he added, the legislation will be passed by Parliament, "hopefully by the end of the year, but if not by the end of the current Fiscal Year in March 2012".
Mr. Sinckler also pointed out that high fuel and energy prices and their impact were placing a "huge burden" on Barbados’ external current account, and was also slowing down efforts at accelerating economic expansion. Moreover, he stressed that the cost of doing business was "skyrocketing" as a result.
Maintaining that this practically untenable situation "called for intervention of both the public and private sectors," he assured persons that government was, indeed, responding swiftly to the crisis by implementing aspects of the National Alternative Energy Policy and Strategy. He stated that several elements of this policy had already been outlined and were being implemented. "The policy not only serves to assist businesses and individuals in how to conserve energy but to produce it even as we work to put new legislation in place that would allow incentive regimes to be put in place to facilitate this," he added.
Introducing this new electricity legislation, asserted the Economic Affairs Minister, would create opportunities for investment, job creation and environmental enhancement that would transform social and economic life in Barbados.