Barbados??? energy sector will receive a much needed boost with the injection of BBD $7.72 million.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this disclosure on Tuesday evening, shortly before signing the National Indicative Programme (NIP) 2014-2020 with Head of the European Union Delegation, Ambassador Mikael Barfod, at Ilaro Court.

He said this sector had been identified for funding under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).??Mr. Stuart stated: ???The overall objective is to support the Government???s energy sector goals, as defined in the draft 2013 Government of Barbados Energy Policy.???

According to him, the main elements of this policy included increasing the share of economically viable renewable energy in Barbados’ energy mix; achieving savings in transportation and other non-electric energy uses; and increasing the sustainability and efficiency of fossil fuel exploration, production, transportation, storage, and use across all sectors.

He continued: ???The specific objective is to support the recently commenced Government pilot programme for renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in primary and secondary schools, thereby raising awareness, reducing energy costs, and securing a reliable energy supply for schools designated as hurricane or natural disaster shelters. Complementary to this will be a capacity building programme for educators on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.???

Mr. Stuart said it was anticipated that the financing agreement relating to the 11th EDF would be ready for signature by early 2016. He added: ???Under this [11th EDF] programme, Euros ???3 million have been allocated to the sector; Euros ???150,000 to support civil society; Euros ???200,000 towards technical assistance to support or accompany the programming, preparation and implementation; and Euros ???150,000 to support the office of the National Authorising Officer.???

Ambassador Barfod pointed out that the NIP represents the agreement between the Government of Barbados and the European Commission for use of resources under the 11th European Development Fund. He said BBD $12.81 million had been previously committed to the sector through the Smart Renewable Energy Programme.

???Our support under the 11th EDF will be for Euros ???3.5 million (BBD $7.72 million), which, though smaller than the figures I have quoted above, remains significant. In the face of calls for graduation of countries based solely on GDP per capita, we recognised the inherent vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States such as Barbados. This reality justified continued bilateral support.

???At the same time, our Agenda for Change approach calls for resources to be targeted where they are most needed and can be the most effective. In response, we have shifted to a more focused regional programme and in so doing created the largest regional envelope for the Caribbean, with a total commitment to the region of Euros ???1billion (BBD $2.2 billion),??? Mr. Barfod stated.

He expressed the view that Barbados was in an excellent position to benefit from their new programming thrust, including capitalising on multi-country programmes and new opportunities for blended financing options through the Caribbean Investment Facility.

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