??Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler (centre) in conversation with (from left) Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce; Chairman of??Williams Industries Inc., Ralph Williams; Minister of Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce; and President of Fairway Developments Ltd, David Staples, at the launch. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

A government minister is making a major case for householders, businesses and hoteliers to outfit their buildings with photovoltaic solar panels to assist government in its efforts to green the economy.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Energy and Telecommunications, Senator Darcy Boyce, alluded to the savings for the country in the long run, during the launch of Williams Evergreen Limited’s 1.4 Megawatt Photovoltaic Project.?? The event was held recently at Mall Internationale, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

"We [government] would like to see each of the 35 000 houses in Barbados that have solar water heaters installed, to also consider installing photovoltaic panels.?? We would also like to see every business…even hoteliers install photovoltaic [panels] on their properties to become more energy efficient," he stressed.

Senator Boyce also mentioned ongoing work with the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation to outfit the industrial estates with these systems.

"So, we are pushing ahead in Government by example.?? We are about to initiate contracts for 19 government buildings for pilot energy efficiency projects and that [initiative] should be off and running very shortly," he added.

Senator Boyce also disclosed plans for a new Light and Power Act to be debated in Parliament next month that would allow government to facilitate easier licensing of power producers and the setting of feeding tariffs.

"We are continuing to do work with the Fair Trading Commission on the other issues that we have to tackle with respect to the new Light and Power Act.?? We are also working with the Barbados National Standards Institution in terms of the standards for the photovoltaic systems and other institutions that are responsible for training and certification," he underlined.

The Minister lauded the Williams Group for the Photovoltaic Project and added: "The emphasis by the Williams Group to develop a utility scale power facility is something that we [government] welcome.?? We are also working with various private sector investors to …pursue the waste-to-energy complex that Dr. Denis Lowe would have talked about and the new sugar factory to generate base load electricity from bagasse and tamarind. All these initiatives we expect will bear fruit within the next three years…," Senator Boyce surmised.


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