Barbados is determined to stay on the path to advance Renewable Energy (RE) and energy efficiency in spite of the recent drop in the price of fuel on the international market.

Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, gave this assurance today during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Energy and the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) at Government Headquarters.

According to him, Government had started to implement energy efficient measures on several occasions in the past, but have always stopped when the price of fuel improved.

???Barbados has started many a time on the energy efficient path and when prices come down we have moved away from that road and then suffered when oil prices came back up. So this time we want to stick with it and make sure that if oil prices should rise again we benefit from having a strong RE sector and from having improved our use of energy substantially,??? he asserted.

Senator Boyce added that the MOU with BREA was one of the many strategic partnerships that Government had developed with key players in the sector, and would focus on the strategic direction of the RE and energy efficiency industries, as well as facilitate discourse on technical matters.

He also pointed out that the aim was to have a 22 percent energy efficiency improvement in the use of RE in this country, and 30 percent generation of power from an RE source by 2029. According to him, this country was well on its way to achieving this objective.

???With the incentives that have been put in place by Government ??? tax incentives and duty incentives, with the development in technology which has brought down the cost of RE and improved the efficiency with which we gain power, we have seen tremendous momentum at the level of households [and] individual businesses.

???It is a momentum that we are trying to encourage but we have to control the way in which it is installed, so as not to disrupt the power supply,??? Senator Boyce explained, while pointing out that a focus on energy efficiency did not mean that Government was not concerned with the existing onshore and offshore fossil fuel industry.

President of BREA, Aidan Rogers, agreed with Senator Boyce that Barbados needed to actively develop its RE sector in order to weather any adverse fluctuations in price worldwide. He explained that the MOU would assist in the development of a structured approach to evolving the RE sector so that the benefits currently being experienced as a result of low oil prices would become more stable and permanent.??

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