Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he addressed the opening ceremony for a new facility operated by Solaris Global Energy Ltd. last Saturday at Six Roads, St. Philip. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

If Minister with responsibility for Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce, gets his wish, Barbados will double its solar hot water systems installation rate by the end of 2029. By so doing, this country would have reached its energy efficiency and renewable energy targets.
This was stated by him, as he addressed the opening ceremony for a new manufacturing facility by Solaris Global Energy Limited at Six Roads, St. Philip, last Saturday.
Senator Boyce heaped praise on the fast growing solar water heating industry for creating significant annual savings for the country in foreign exchange for fuel, as well as lowering costs for householders who have hot water.

Furthermore, he indicated that the industry could and would help with the restructuring of the economy and its competitiveness "in a major way"; and he stressed that it was expected that solar energy companies here would be "out front leading in this effort".

"My vision for the kind of expansion of the Barbados solar energy industry is driven not only by the potential reduction in our very large foreign exchange bill for fuel imports.?? It is generated not only by the opportunity to reduce electricity prices and keep them stable; and by the reduction in our country’s carbon emissions.

"The vision flows from the prospects of significant inflows of foreign exchange to the country from its exports of goods and services by this industry from patent rights, franchise arrangements, branch operations, physical exports and advisory, design and installation services.?? Most importantly to me, the vision springs from the possibility of?? creating more jobs, in this industry; maybe trebling or quadrupling its number of jobs and providing skilled, gainful, stimulating, challenging and financially rewarding employment for some of our youth," he added.

In light of the recent incentives from the last Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals and other support from Government, he contended that this country needed "earnestly" to expand its solar energy drive to capture a large part of the Caribbean and Central American market for local companies.

"Further, what I wish for Barbados in respect of solar hot water systems and solar photovoltaics, I also wish relatively for the other Caribbean countries and some in Central America.?? For the most part, with a few exceptions, they generally have the same energy problems we [have], and so they need to deal as urgently with their energy problems as we with ours.?? Beyond that, however, we in Barbados with our experience in solar hot water systems should be able to gear ourselves up to attain in solar photovoltaics the same leadership position as we have in solar hot water systems", he said.??

He added that over the last 30 years 40,000 solar hot water systems had been installed and operating in the country with support from Government.


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