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Energy Fund to pave the way for shift to alternative energy

Senator Jepter Ince, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, says the Barbados Government is showing how serious it is about promoting the increased use of renewable energy with the push towards an “Energy Fund” that will emphasize the implementation of energy efficient measures by businesses, as well as householders. With oil prices soaring he said, the shift to the use of alternative energy as opposed to the use of oil, is what is also driving the need for such a fund.

“Government has taken the initiative through the Ministry of Energy and Telecommunications, to look at how best we can set the ground work, as far as the alternative use of energy is concerned. How best we can assist the business sector, whether it is through technical assistance or funding, in making changes that are critical, if we are to look at reducing the costs of energy, as well as reducing the cost of production” Senator Ince remarked recently.

“Those plans are still in the framework, but what it proposes to do is to have an overall positive impact on the cost of energy, the cost of the importation of oil into the country. That is the objective. To reduce that energy cost to the consumer, to reduce that energy cost to the family and to reduce that energy cost to the overall economy of Barbados,” the Senator added.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart outlined the need to make sustainable energy management a national priority. With the cost of oil imports rivaling the cost of education, it was reported that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was placing renewable energy on the front burner. The PM at the time outlined the details of a US $10 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to set up the said Energy Smart Fund.

According to the IDB, the objective of the project is to promote the increased use of renewable energy (RE) and the implementation of energy efficiency measures (EE), through the design and implementation of the Sustainable Energy Investment Programme, also known as the “Smart Fund”, a Government initiative comprising a package of financial instruments and technical assistance to support investments in RE and EE. Ultimately, the project will help reduce Barbados’ fossil fuel dependency and promote sustainable energy supply as well as carbon emission reductions.

The IDB anticipates that the Energy Smart Fund could help generate savings of more than $280 million in ten to 15 years. The Prime Minister said Government was aiming to reduce the island’s heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels over the next ten to 15 years by at least 30 per cent. The sustainable energy investment project was therefore designed to sensitive the population to the issue of energy conservation and energy use efficiency, he said. (RSM)

Category/ies:Barbados News.
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