Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce??

The Government of Barbados is hoping to reduce electricity costs in this country by as much as 22 per cent over the next 20 years.

This was announced by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce, last evening at the Sustainable Energy For All (SEFA) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference at the Hilton Hotel.

He told delegates, drawn from the 28 countries represented, that the local savings in electricity would amount to US$283.5 million and added that this would also lower fuel costs by an estimated US$670 million; cut CO2 emissions by 4.5 million tons; and reduce reliance on fossil fuels to about 71 per cent.

Senator Boyce said that the Barbados Declaration had mandated Government to provide each household with access to modern and affordable renewable energy services to eradicate poverty safeguard the environment and provide new opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth.??

Concerning SIDS’ importation of fossil fuels, he noted that this dependence represented "one of the greatest threats to our economic viability and survival as sovereign states".

He added: "Planning is already under way by government and the private sector on renewable energy projects that would cut our dependence on fossil fuels for base load electricity generation by about 33 per cent, probably within six to eight years.??

"These projects are in biomass and co-generation, municipal solid waste to energy, industrial organic waste to energy, and landfill gas to energy.?? Further, we will also encourage pilot projects in Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion and Sea Water Air Cooling.?? In addition, work continues to expand our solar thermal generation and our capacity for electricity generation from solar photovoltaics as well as from wind."??

Senator Boyce pointed out that, in Barbados, work was currently under way to improve the legislative and regulatory structure for renewable energy, as well as the fiscal, pricing, funding, training and certification, standards and warranties, and physical planning permitting areas.?? "These all need to be made more adequately supportive of the sustainable energy drive by the economy", he pointed out.

Furthermore, in the area of energy efficiency, the Minister said that studies had already been done in various sectors of the Barbados economy, especially in the hotel sector, to estimate the potential savings from more energy efficient plants equipment and operations.?? "Such work is continuing and is now focused on [realising] the identified potential savings, and how to put appropriate funding in place for the investment required," he stated.

Overall, he noted that it had been estimated that investments of US $20 billion, over two decades, would be required to assist SIDS to increase energy efficiency by 25 per cent and to generate a minimum of 50 per cent of electric power from renewable sources. In order to meet these goals, the Minister said it was hoped that other development partners would be fully supportive of the initiatives put forward by Small Island Developing States.


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