Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, is keen to work with members of the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) on securing more public “buy-in” to invest in the renewable energy sector.
During a recent meeting at the Ministry on Country Road, St. Michael, Minister Simmons told BREA representatives that there was much work to be done in sensitising the public and building relationships across the sector in areas such as agriculture.
“When we start to talk the language of diversification, I know that the agricultural sector can benefit substantially from renewable energy technologies and is already benefitting in some instances,” Minister Symmonds stated.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic presented the opportunity to “go where perhaps we have not gone before, but only threatened or promised to go” and pledged to partner with BREA on the renewable energy thrust.
President Jerry Franklin said BREA had a long association with the Ministry and had been pushing the benefits of switching to renewable energy since the start-up of the association.
“BREA is one of those organisations that has contributed significantly to bringing Barbados to where it is today. Currently, there is a big push and interest in renewable energy from an investment perspective, more so than individuals putting it on their homes. The investment market has finally seen what we [BREA] have been trying to educate them about for the last five to seven years, that this thing is a good investment,” Mr. Franklin underlined.
Matters raised included the town planning approval process for persons who have procured renewable energy systems, and the need to revisit the Memorandum of Understanding between BREA and the Ministry.
On the issue of town planning approvals, Minister Symmonds disclosed that it was discussed at Cabinet, and promised to streamline the process by bringing the major players together to ascertain the issues and make the relevant submissions.