Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick (FP)??

Government is expanding its energy platform to introduce new legislation that would allow the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited to purchase its electricity from independent renewable energy sources.

Minister of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, Dr. David Estwick, made this revelation recently, while addressing the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation’s symposium on entrepreneurship, innovation and renewable energy. It was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.

In explaining the process, Dr. Estwick announced Cabinet had already approved a plan to approach the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for assistance in preparing the relevant legislation to effect this.

In lauding the proposal he said: "Such an initiative will come with the necessary fiscal incentives to encourage the efficient generation of energy from these alternative sources."

The Minister also disclosed that government would "take the reins in retrofitting its buildings and in revamping its fleet of vehicles in order to conserve its own use of fossil fuel energy".

Even though the current Income Tax Provision Act covered the cost of energy audits up to $2 000 as part of the general Income Tax Allowance for Home Improvement of $10, 000 in an income year, Dr. Estwick alluded to the creation of a separate allowance in energy conservation.

"A proposal has been made for the creation of a separate allowance called the Renewable Energy Conservation and Renewable Deduction." [It will involve] a maximum of $5,000 per year over a five year period, to cover the cost of an energy audit and 50 per cent of the cost of retrofitting a residence or, installing a system to produce electricity from a source other than fossil fuels."

The Economic Affairs Minister revealed there was an increased demand for environmentally friendly and renewable energy solutions, particularly in the areas of construction, transport and manufacturing.

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