Efforts are afoot to foster better working relations between the Barbados Light and Power (BL&P) and the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA).
To this end, Minister of Industry, Donville Inniss, held a meeting recently with representatives of both parties.
Describing it as successful, Minister Inniss said it sought to address issues pertaining to the proposed Electric Light and Power Act, renewable energy, Government???s policy on alternative energy and its impact upon Industry and Commerce in Barbados.
As to the reason for calling the meeting, Mr Inniss said: ???We have had situations where I felt BREA as the representative body of the consumers and Light and Power were perhaps talking across from one another via the media and not sitting down across the table and having a discussion. So, as Minister with responsibility for the Fair Trading Commission and Industry, I sought to bring the parties together to have a general chat about the issues and this has proven to be very fruitful.???
He indicated that one issue agreed upon was that both sides would continue to dialogue with each other in the absence of policy makers and regulators. Mr. Inniss stated that after the legislation was enacted, implementation would be critical, and it would be up to the BL&P and BREA to carry out their own watchdog programme.
He also noted that another area for mutual cooperation was that of public education, and stressed that the more enlightened Barbadians were about energy conservation and renewable energy, the better it would be for the economy and society, in terms of costs and the utilisation of fuel.
The Minister disclosed that technical issues were also discussed and it was agreed that these matters would be best resolved among the technocrats.
???I think that it has been an opportunity for BREA to understand some very technical issues from [the Barbados] Light and Power???s perspective and for BREA to bring to Light and Power???s attention any technical alternatives that may exist out there for renewable energy versus fossil fuel.
???So, in principle, I would say that going forward there will be greater dialogue between the entities involved and this would certainly redound to the benefit of the society as a whole, since there would be a better sharing of ideas and I am satisfied that Government will meet with great success in the roll out of its renewable energy policy,??? Mr. Inniss said.