Barbados is on its way to building out a strong, vibrant and productive alternative energy sector.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, disclosed that the green energy legislation, which outlines various incentives Government will be offering, is expected to be discussed in Parliament the week following the August 13 delivery of the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals.

Mr. Sinckler made the comments on Monday, as he addressed a Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry press conference to discuss the new green financing by the Central Bank of Barbados and the new green legislation.

He said the Electric, Light and Power Act should also be laid and debated in Parliament on that day, so that come September, Barbados would have a complete suite of legislation in place.

The Minister pointed out that he had outlined some of those initiatives in last year???s Financial Statement and Budgetary proposals. ???It has taken us some time negotiating with people involved directly in the sector, both nationally, regionally and internationally, to ensure that we got the legislation as it relates to those incentives as close as possible to perfect… We are now in a position to announce that those discussions, revisions and fine-tuning have been done,??? Mr. Sinckler remarked.

He said Government would be giving a number of concessions, including a waiver of duties and value added tax on the materials and inputs in to the development of alternative energy systems and energy saving devices. The Minister said, for example, that Government would be providing, from the income year 2012, 10-year tax holidays for any developer, manufacturer or installer of renewable energy systems and energy efficient products across the spectrum.

???We will allow companies and eligible businesses to have a deduction of up to 150 per cent on the amount of interest paid on the loan on the facility. And, of course, those areas of particular interest will be defined in the legislation.

We will also be providing extensive concessions for the deduction of up to 150 per cent over the first 10-year period for companies that outlay resources for the training of their staff who will be involved in the development, the production and the distribution of alternative energy from a renewable energy source,??? he explained.

The Minister added that there would be a 150 per cent taxable income deduction for the marketing of products or services that could be properly classified in the legislation as energy conservation or producing renewable energy. ???Research and development is absolutely critical in a sector like this…and we want to provide the similar 150 per cent deduction on income earned for those who participate in the research and development of alternative energy, whether on the conservation side or on the producing side,??? he said.

Mr. Sinckler also mentioned that there would be an exemption from the payment of tax for a period of 10 years for all financial intermediaries, such as commercial banks, that specifically develop windows or products to finance alternative energy and energy conservation systems. According to him, this would make it more attractive for them to provide financing at reasonably low costs so as to spur investment by those entities.

Minister Sinckler stressed that Government???s aim was to drive the alternative energy sector in a very serious way, so that it would become a major contributor to economic activity.??

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