Public awareness and education are key components in the success of initiatives targetted at promoting the use of renewable energy in Barbados.

And, Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, has thrown his support behind the development of a public/private sector-led programme geared at educating the public from the ???cradle to the grave???.

It is hoped that it will help the public understand the lifestyle change needed for the success of renewable energy and how it could improve efficiency.

He made these comments during a recent courtesy call from President of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lalu Vashwani; Managing Director of the Barbados Light and Power Company Limited (BL&P), Mark King; and Business Development Officer of the BL&P, Roger Blackman, at the Ministry???s headquarters.

Dr. Lowe recommended that the awareness programme must focus on dealing with issues involving getting access to the various incentives enacted in Parliament so that persons would avoid going through the same hurdles.

???The question that must be asked is, ???How do we get the society to make the transition from their old habits and thinking to transforming their thinking to the one we have overtaken as a society???????, he pondered.

The Minister further stated that it was important that the areas of education, awareness and technical assistance be covered to assist homeowners in having access to information and making the changes that were necessary.

He stressed that the drive towards renewable energy involved more than simply making electricity cheaper. Rather, he said: ???It is about flagging cultural norms???. It has broader implications??? It is about a chain of events that happens when one cycle begins, [such as] the environment and environmental management.???

Dr. Lowe added that if Barbados was to achieve its national objectives, the people who drove production would have the greatest impact by informing the society.

In turn, Mr. Vashwani suggested that a public/private sector partnership could be examined for public education and awareness to promote
the concept of a ???greening??? process.

Mr. King also expressed support for having a public education programme, noting that there was a lot of misinformation about the adoption of renewable energy. ???We need to educate the public and make them aware of what their options are??? We also need to educate them on energy efficiency,??? he said.

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