Managing Director of Solar Apex, Ryan Gittens, explaining some of the company???s products to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart while from left, Acting Chief Energy Conservation Officer in the Division of Energy, Williams Hinds, and the Inter-American Development Bank???s Country Representative, Joel Branski look on. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Government’s energy efficiency thrust is "picking up more steam" with the awarding of three contracts to companies to outfit 19 government buildings including nine schools with solar photovoltaic systems.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart made this disclosure today at the launch of Energy Week 2012, at Hilton Barbados, Needhams Point, St. Michael.

He told the large gathering of industry experts, energy enthusiasts and government officials, that this initiative would "capture the interest and imagination of the next generation which will give impetus to this effort in making renewable energy truly the engine of the economy".

Mr. Stuart added that the private sector would be playing a major role in the roll-out of government’s energy awareness plan next year that would see the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on over 40 government buildings.??

Additionally, the Prime Minister said similar energy systems would be installed on hurricane shelters which would also be equipped with the necessary back-up power that would enable them to function effectively in the event of a hurricane or any other emergency.

"In the same way that we pride ourselves on the penetration of solar water heaters, the next frontier is the erection of solar electricity systems and the use of other renewable energy sources," Mr. Stuart underlined.

To facilitate this process, the Prime Minister alluded to the proposed amendment of the Electric Light and Power Act, Cap 278, to facilitate the sale of electricity to the grid from renewable energy sources.

Mr. Stuart gave the assurance that the Legislation would be submitted to Cabinet for approval shortly.

Other activities for Energy Week under the theme Energy the Engine of the Economy, will include energy efficiency workshops tomorrow, Tuesday, November 13, at Hilton Barbados, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.??????????????

On Wednesday, November 14, there will be a fossil fuel film screening and panel discussion on the subject: Defending Fossil Fuels??? How Crude? The discussion, targetting sixth form students taking the Environmental Science component of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination, Science Teachers and Barbados Community College students studying Environmental Science, will be held at the Olympus Theatres, Sheraton Centre, Christ Church from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The following day, Thursday, November 15, there will be visits to a number of energy projects such as the Williams Evergreen solar project on the roof of Mall Internationale, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael; Walkers Dairy, St. George; and the Vaucluse Recycling Facility, St. Thomas, for specially invited guests.?? The all-day visit will commence at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.??

On Friday, November 16, school children will get a chance to view the Solar House and participate in a number of activities during the open day at Queen’s Park, Constitution Road, St. Michael.?? There will also be a presentation of badges and the launch of the school’s essay and colouring competitions at the Solar House.

The week of events will culminate with a thanksgiving service at the Dalkeith Methodist Church, St. Michael, on Sunday, November 18, starting at 7:00 a.m.


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