The renewable energy sector is in for an overhaul with an injection of a US $10 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The monies will be used to establish the Energy Smart Fund to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the private sector.

Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, disclosed today that this was part of Government???s overall policy on Renewable/Alternative energy aimed at the private, public and domestic sectors.

Speaking today at the opening of the Nation Publishing Company???s Solar Photovoltaic System at its Fontabelle, St. Michael headquarters, Minister Inniss disclosed that BDS $5.3 million in loans had already been approved.

He noted that Barbados will be in a better position to move away from over-dependence on fossil fuel and to develop and sustain a renewable energy industry.?????The Government has done its part by providing the appropriate legislation, fiscal incentives and some measure of financial support along a solid regulatory environment via the Fair Trading Commission. The onus is now on households and businesses to take the baton and to run with it,??? the Minister said.

He added that government was working towards a target of having approximately 29 per cent of all electricity consumption in Barbados being produced from renewable energy sources by 2029, as well as a 22 per cent reduction in electricity consumption by this date. Mr. Inniss also pointed out that Government had revised the Electric Light and Power Act to create the enabling environment for independent power producers to sell electricity to the grid.

He further added that applications by independent power producers would, therefore, be considered later this year in accordance with the provisions of the Act.??While praising the successful installation of the 100 kW solar powered system at the Nation, the Minister stated that ???the race was on and that victory was in sight???.

Additionally, he opined that the success of the solar water heater industry has shown that a combination of fiscal incentives and local entrepreneurial spirit could lead to a change in the energy use paradigm. He added that his Ministry had received requests from representatives of the solar water heater sector for additional support.

Mr. Inniss noted that the same successes that were realised in the hot water heating industry were expected to be replicated by having solar photovoltaic installations in the private sector, the Government and in households.

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