Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce (right), is pictured as he participated in a panel discussion on Renewable Energy at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) at the Hilton Barbados.?? Others pictured are (left to right) Minister of the Environment, Planning and Infrastructure Strategy, Government of Bermuda, Walter Roban and the Chairman of CREF Jerry Butler. (A.Gaskin/BGIS)

A new project that will reduce energy use in some of this island’s hotels has been launched and will soon expand to Jamaica and the Bahamas.

The launch of the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy Action-Advanced Programme (CHENACT-AP) took place yesterday at the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum at the Hilton Barbados. The agreement was signed by Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce on behalf of the Government of Barbados.

The one million US dollar agreement is a venture between the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Government of Barbados and the Caribbean Hotel Tourism Organisation (CTO), with Barbados contributing BDS$100,000 for the first phase of the Programme.

Following yesterday’s formal signing; Senator Boyce explained that CHENACT-AP involved the auditing of 65 hotels in Barbados out of a total of 80 properties. He said that the aim of the initiative was to help these businesses "reduce their energy usage by an average of 36 per cent – ranging from 30 per cent to 50 per cent".

He further explained that another phase of the programme, CHENACT-AP Two, would see the sum of five million dollars being invested in the endeavour, with the IDB putting in two million dollars, while other organisations and countries, including the Caribbean Hotel Association, the CTO, and some European nations would contribute the balance of the funding. Senator Boyce added that Barbados, Jamaica and Bahamas would place $160,000 each "in kind to fund the programme".

The Minister stated that it was envisaged that such an initiative would help Barbadian hotels to prepare projects for investments so they could then implement the recommendations that were proposed in the first phase of the CHENACT-AP Programme. Senator Boyce disclosed that the project would expand to Jamaica, the Bahamas and the other islands, "with some energy audits completed for them to help them to prepare programmes going forward".

"We are hopeful that out of this will come the proposal for a third or fourth CHENACT-AP; a large amount, maybe $20 or 50 million as the case may be, so we will go ahead and implement recommendations to make hotels more efficient in the use of energy and, therefore, reduce the operating costs to make them more price competitive.

It was also noted that the project help them reduce carbon emissions. Other signatories to CHENACT-AP were: Jamaica, Bahamas, Earl Deveaux; Chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.


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