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Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Jehu Wiltshire congratulates six-year-old Joshua Valere of St. Angela’s Primary at the prize giving ceremony for winners of the Energy Week 2012 competitions. (G Brewster/BGIS)

Major changes are on the cards for Barbados’ energy sector, including initiatives that are expected to reduce the island’s foreign oil dependency.

This was disclosed today, by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Jehu Wiltshire, as he addressed a prize giving ceremony for winners of the Energy Week 2012 competitions at the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited.

In his address, Mr. Wiltshire described energy as a "three-pronged fork, fork made up of the hydrocarbons sector, the renewable and energy efficiency sector and the electricity sector". He explained that would be several initiatives to be rolled out later this year the objective of which would be to reduce foreign oil dependency, save foreign exchange, increase energy security, to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, create jobs and promote energy conservation.

Expanding on government’s plans to take on energy issues, the Deputy Permanent Secretary revealed that in the next few months, an Electric, Light and Power Bill would be submitted to both Cabinet and Parliament, and the intention of this Bill, among other things, was to facilitate the sale of electricity to the grid from renewable energy sources.

Adding that the distribution of energy efficient lights was also on the way, Mr. Wiltshire said that there were plans for a number of government buildings to be retrofitted with solar electricity systems over the next four months, with 19 structures, including schools, already earmarked.??

With regard to petroleum energy, the Ministry representative explained said ??"we are going to be importing low sulfur diesel into Barbados, we have heard the complaints of a number of persons about the high price…;within the next few months we are going to be finalising licenses for an oil company to commence [offshore] exploration. He also disclosed that a $50 million public sector energy conservation?? programme would soon commence which is going to entail retrofitting a number of buildings with energy efficiency technologies.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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