Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams. (FP)

Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, will attend the 9th IRENA assembly in Abu Dhabi, from January 10 to 17.

Mr. Abraham’s attendance at the IRENA assembly will be of benefit to Barbados, as it will allow for access to policy and regulatory advisory services, a network to share information, knowledge and best practices and technical expertise during project life cycles, as well as provide financing mechanisms for projects, capacity building and policy and regulatory design.

In addition, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources is actively seeking assistance in the establishment of a Geographical Information System that is critical to the administration of the Electric Light and Power Act.

IRENA is an international organization which has been established for the specific purpose of promoting the use of renewable energy sources.  The Founding Conference of the agency was held in Bonn, Germany in 2009, and the associated statute entered into force on July 8, 2010.

The vision of IRENA is for a world where modern and effective renewable energy is accessible in all countries and becomes one of the major energy sources.  Its mission is to promote the widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.

Member States of IRENA pledge to advance renewables in their own national policies and programmes, and to promote, both domestically and through international cooperation, the transition to a sustainable and secure energy supply.

Barbados became a member of IRENA in September 2014, allowing access to a range of resources which would greatly assist with the restructuring and expansion of the country’s sustainable energy sector.

Being concerned about the effects of insufficient diversification of energy resources and this country’s energy security, Government has embarked on an unprecedented ambitious agenda of transitioning to 100 per cent fossil fuel free by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2030.

This transition is expected to benefit the economy because it seeks to minimize the use of fossil fuels for generation of electricity, and maximizes the use of energy from renewable sources.  Achieving this goal would also give this island the distinction of being the first in the world to do so.

The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources is engaged in a number of activities towards its 100 per cent carbon neutral goal and this work will be enhanced with the assistance of IRENA.

The IRENA Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Lighthouses initiative was launched at the United Nations Summit in October 2014. It is a framework for action designed to assist Barbados and other SIDS Partners in developing renewable energy roadmaps that holistically address all relevant components, spanning from policy and market frameworks to technological opportunities, as well as capacity building and institutional strengthening.

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