Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, chats with Steve Elder (right), President/Chief Technical Officer and Darian Zwicker (left), Executive Vice-President of LED Roadway Lighting, at their booth????today, at the??Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum, Hilton Hotel. (A.Miller/BGIS)

Government will be undertaking structural reforms of the energy sector that would reduce the island’s dependency on foreign oil, increase energy security, create jobs and enhance the generation of renewable energy.??

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, made this disclosure today, while addressing the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) at Hilton Barbados.

He revealed that an indicative road map for the next 20 years had been developed to achieve some of these objectives.??

"The Government of Barbados has framed its actions within the context of a detailed analysis of our renewable energy potential.?? Based on the analysis carried out, we have realised that renewable energy potential for wind at utility scale, biomass cogeneration, waste-to-energy and solar water heaters, are all economically and commercially viable when compared to the cost of diesel for electricity generation…," Mr. Stuart added.

Additionally, the Prime Minister said that further research into the area has uncovered that a renewable energy matrix could be achieved in the next 20 years.?? If it comes to fruition, this would result in renewable energy generation accounting for 29 per cent of electricity consumption, with the remaining 71 per cent coming from conventional fossil fuel-based resources.

Furthermore, Mr. Stuart maintained the matrix would reduce the island’s total electricity costs by US $283.5 million over the next 20 years.?? It could also account for an overall 22 per cent reduction in electricity consumption compared to what he described as "a business as usual scenario".

"In that way, Barbados would be able to reduce the cumulative cost of oil imports over 20 years from US $2.648 billion to US $1.978 billion.?? To achieve these goals, government will make a determined effort to ensure that the pace of implementation never slackens.?? We are, therefore, working hard to establish the requisite institutional, operational and regulatory framework for the increased use of sustainable energy," Mr. Stuart underlined.

To this end, the Prime Minister revealed that the policies on renewable energy and energy efficiency had already been approved by Cabinet and the requisite legislation for the operation of the renewable energy policy will be submitted to Cabinet for approval before month-end.

He also disclosed that legislative amendments would be presented to Parliament before year end or early next year. "This policy and the attendant legislation are intended to ensure that Barbados’ electricity sector should develop in a way that promotes the use of renewable energy, while lowering the cost of power to the greatest extent possible.?? It will facilitate the sale to the grid of electricity both at the utility scale and at the distributed scale," Mr. Stuart surmised.

The CREF continues tomorrow at Hilton Barbados, with discussions on areas such as Barbados Investment Opportunities in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Sectors; Electric Vehicles for the Caribbean Why and How?, The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico: Energy Renewables Opportunities and A New Era of Renewable Baseload for the Caribbean: Ocean-Derived Energy.

The Prime Minister’s feature address is available on the ‘Media’ under ‘Downloads’ page.


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