Minister of Energy, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds. (FP)

Minister of Energy, Small Business, and Entrepreneurship, Kerrie Symmonds, will be visiting communities to seek out men and women interested in being trained to install solar panels on homes across the island.

He gave this commitment recently, during an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service, where he outlined the mandate for his Ministry.

Minister Symmonds noted that the goal is for the island to have a 100 per cent renewable energy platform, and therefore, the preparations must start from now.

“I think what the country needs to start to understand is that renewable energy is the way of the future, and the future begins today. Within nine years, Barbados is going to be fossil fuel free and what we must now do is start to plan in that direction as a whole range of possible business opportunities are on the horizon.

“There are some which are taking place before our eyes, and I am going to be working in communities around Barbados to try to get people trained and pull themselves together in little companies, so that they would be in a position to benefit from some of this work,” he stated.

Mr. Symmonds said establishing new businesses from solar panel installation was a way of creating more jobs and business opportunities for the unemployed.

Additionally, he said he had instructed the National Petroleum Corporation to see itself as an energy company and to assist Government in its efforts to get solar panels on the roof of every home and to provide the training. 

“I don’t want them to see themselves as only providers of natural gas, but to explore the full range of options before them and think in terms of a broader mandate and a different model and then let’s begin the process of helping people access the renewables from as early as now,” he stressed.

Minister Symmonds said the next few years will be very busy for the business and energy sectors as preparations ramp up for the transition to renewable energy.

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