Government remains committed to facilitating change in the energy sector in order to reduce Barbados??? dependence on fossil fuel which results in $800 million in imports on an annual basis.
Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, said that given all the exogenous factors, this was one item that they (Government) had very little control over in terms of price, especially the world market price.
And, given all the environmental factors that had an impact in this matter, Government had come to a firm decision that renewable energy must be the way forward in Barbados.
He made these comments this morning at the consultative workshop on the Renewable Energy Consumer Guide Handbook for Solar PV Systems at the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries, Harbour Industrial Estate headquarters.
He said: ???We are very mindful of what the State has been doing in terms of the Electric Light and Power Act that was passed in parliament last year, [and] two of the regulations are being finalised now to be rolled out shortly as well as the other incentives that have been granted ??? the fiscal incentives that have been granted via our Income Tax regime to ensure that the inputs necessary for the development of an industry in Barbados can go ahead unhindered.???
The Minister stated that ???far too often we roll ahead as technocrats to address a lot of these issues looking through the lens of technical people oblivious to the fact that there is an educational role to perform.???
He asserted that in this regard the consumers in Barbados should soon find themselves far more enlightened regarding the the renewable energy industry and how it impacts upon them at the consumer level.??Mr. Inniss told his audience that it was his opinion that in order to really develop a viable sustainable industry, they needed to look at the wider Caribbean region.
???You have to ensure that the individuals who are giving advice on renewable energy systems and photo voltaic systems in particular are competent, tested and tried and are qualified as far as possible to provide that service,??? he advised while adding that ???this was not an industry that we can settle for mediocrity nor is it an industry that we feel that any and every one can turn up at your homes, give you advice and install your system.???