Barbados could be one step closer to a shared common vision on energy if the various projects on alternative energy currently being worked on by several individuals in the field, come to fruition.

This was disclosed by Senior Technical Officer in the Energy Division in the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Telecommunications and Energy, William Hinds today, during a press conference to discuss plans for the joint-Central Bank, Government of Barbados, Alternative Energy Conference, at the Grand Salle, Tom Adams Financial Centre.

Noting that the use of renewable energy reduced the dependence on fossil fuels, he pointed to its significance in achieving a green society. "Renewable energy and alternative energy are critical to the creation of a greener society.?? Thus, the use of alternative energy in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is the pathway for survival, especially for small island developing states."

Mr. Hinds also spoke about the economic benefits to be derived from wide-scale use of alternative energy sources and opined: "….With the steady increase in the price of fossil fuels, there are many alternatives that are cheaper such as wind energy that are financially and economically viable for householders, in terms of their electricity costs."

He further stated: "Shifting to alternative energy sources would allow consumers to have more disposable income in their pockets to focus on other aspects of their personal development."

In a similar vein, Central Bank Governor, Dr. Delisle Worrell, said the country stood to benefit from the savings in foreign exchange as a consequence of reduced imports of fossil fuels.

Apart from this, he alluded to the economic activities in this area that were being exploited by some entrepreneurs. "The recyclers for example, have created new economic and employment opportunities for several Barbadians.?? The proposed Waste to Energy Plant is an investment which creates value-added and new capital stock within the economy. So, I think there is a chance through the implementation of renewable energy solutions, to do some restructuring within the economy that would create greater job opportunities and avenues for economic expansion, in areas that did not exist."

Meanwhile, Project Manager in the Solid Waste Project Unit, Ricardo Marshall, said the partnership with the Central Bank, was key to making progress as far as the island’s environmental management programme was concerned.

The symposium, under the theme: Alternative Energy: Pathway to a Sustainable Future in Barbados, will be held on Monday, September 6 and Tuesday, September 7, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.

It will bring together technocrats from various agencies such as the Barbados Light and Power Comapny Ltd, Harrison’s Cave, BICO Limited, and Solar Dynamics among others.

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