Barbados’ foreign reserves stand at over $1.2 billion.
This disclosure came today from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who said the reserves were three times what they were a year ago, when she inherited the government.
Ms. Mottley’s comments came as she delivered the feature address at the Barbados Sustainable Energy Conference 2019, under the theme: Roadmap to 2030, at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
She noted that an increase in oil prices would be the biggest claim on the reserves. Therefore, she expressed the view that Barbadians must transition over the next decade to vehicles powered primarily by electric or any new forms of technology.
“But, whatever it is, the bottom line is that the days of a fossil fuel driven economy are going to have to be put behind us,” she stated.
The Prime Minister said Government would not allow the country to be held to ransom by the vagaries of international economic shocks with respect to oil prices.
She continued: “There has to be a quickening of the pace and it is against this background that the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Commerce… and the FTC itself, must have an urgent consultation, over the course of the next two weeks, for us to be able to decide a few things.”
She thanked the Fair Trading Commission for its recent report with respect to the feed-in-tariff for renewable energy technologies one megawatt or under.
She said she had reflected on that decision and was of the view that a cap of 25 MW was miniscule in comparison to what was needed to move this economy forward and meet the sustainable goals being set for 2030.
“To that extent, I can say without fear of contradiction that this Government will move that cap. The question for us is whether it will go to 100 megawatts or 200 megawatts and secondly, that the feed-in-tariff ought to apply, not just for plants that are one megawatt and under, but for 5 megawatts and under, in order to increase the democratization of the industry,” she stated.
Ms. Mottley said she wanted the Barbados Light & Power with its parent company Emera to be part of the consultation.
During her 40-minute address, she insisted that Government would not be a helpless victim to the climate crisis and called on Barbadians to join the effort.