Government will be establishing a Task Force by the end of October to undertake an intensive review of the draft National Sustainable Energy Policy.
Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, said today that this review was necessary in view of several considerations including a recent evaluation of the grid which showed that it could accommodate an exponential increase in energy from renewable energy sources.
Speaking at the launch of the Division of Energy???s public awareness and education campaign dubbed Smart Energy Barbados ??? Live Smart, Senator Boyce said that one of the core planks of Government???s medium-term economic development strategy was to undertake a set of structural reforms in the energy sector.
These reforms, he explained, were aimed at promoting strong and sustained economic growth by promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.??One of these reforms has been the recent establishment of a new regulatory and licensing regime for the issue of licences to generate electricity from renewable energy sources.
The Energy Minister disclosed that the committee, established under the Electric Light and Power Act, had already met and had recommended the award of several licences.
Noting that normally the focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency waxed and waned throughout the world depending on the price of oil, Mr. Boyce said: ???We intend this time however to ensure that this national effort is sustained despite the current substantial decrease in the price of oil and the consequent fall in electricity prices and prices at the pump.???
???Today???s launch therefore is a deliberate step in driving home the message that the switch to energy conservation methods will ultimately see a vast reduction in energy costs for all Barbadians,??? he maintained.
The Energy Minister submitted that it was an area ???ripe for investment???, and encouraged the private sector to place itself in a position to benefit from ???the exciting prospects in the area of energy efficiency and conservation???.