Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds. (GP)

Government has spent approximately $60 million in the installation of four megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of various government buildings and other energy conservation projects.

Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds made the disclosure during his message for Energy Month, celebrated under the theme Ascension to Independence through Sustainable Energy.   

Looking towards the future, the Minister hinted that over the next six years, Government would be investing $90 million, which would result in over 40 MW of renewable energy on additional government buildings.  Of this figure, $40 million will be invested in energy conservation.

“This deliberate action is intended to reduce Barbados’ carbon footprint with a view to reaching our target of being 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2030. Our evolving destiny must also include levels of enfranchisement for Barbadian citizens.

“The Barbados Government, through a Cabinet decision, has determined that at least 30 per cent of the emerging renewable energy sector must be held and controlled by Barbados,” Mr. Symmonds underlined.

The Energy Minister also highlighted a number of achievements under his Ministry and shared that it had systematically developed a policy to facilitate energy independence that enabled Barbadians to generate wind and solar energy for purchase by the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited.

Minister Symmonds said, to date, he had approved 40 MW of renewable energy licences for individual investors to supply the electricity grid.

He revealed that currently, there are over 3,000 individual and corporate independent energy producers selling their power to the utility company.

He added that Government was at an advanced stage in developing opportunities for energy storage as avenues, thereby “not only constituting their energy resilience, but also as an economic opportunity where the grid can access this storage as part of its overall management and stability”.

Mr. Symmonds pointed out: “This opportunity is not just for modest systems associated with houses and electric vehicles, but will be extended to large scale storage investments by corporate citizens.”

He urged Barbadians to be “strict guardians of our heritage and firm craftsmen of our fate”, as they journeyed to greater independence through sustainable energy and the prudent use of the country’s offshore and onshore fossil fuel resources.

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