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Energy sector could bring 1200 jobs, savings

Twelve hundred jobs could be created through the development of the energy industry in Barbados.

This is according to Clyde Griffith, who delivered the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Lunchtime Lecture on “The Importance of Energy to the Caribbean and most importantly to Barbados” at the DLP headquarters recently.

He said that one of the ways to do this is to develop programmes at tertiary institutions like the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP), where persons can learn about photovoltaic installation and other methods of using alternative energy sources.

A longer and more comprehensive programme can also be offered at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus in similar areas.

These programmes would not only provide jobs in the energy sector for its students upon graduation, it would also help to conserve the energy of households in Barbados and thereby reduce their electricity bills.

In this regard, he suggested that households install monitors which would indicate how much electricity they use so that they would know how many panels they need to install for their particular household. He added that the Government should offer tax deductions for persons who install these monitors.

More jobs can also be created by organizations that are involved in the energy sector. Griffith, who is a member of a not-for-profit organization called the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA), said that another member of the association has a company that produces bio diesel. Currently, he operates two days a week only because he cannot get enough oil to produce the feed stock.

However, if he were to get enough oil to do this, then he can operate his business five days a week and provide more jobs for Barbadians.

He stated that one of the places where he could possibly acquire more oil is from the cruise ships which come to the island. However, they cannot do this because of legislation which prevents them from doing so and Griffith would like there be legislation implemented where these ships can do so again.

Griffith said that more employment can also be created by expanding the solar water heater industry which would also help to create more foreign exchange. He said that currently in this island, there is a 50 percent penetration from solar water heaters and this needs to be increased because it is not good enough.

He said that when solar water heaters first came to Barbados, a lot of persons signed up to have them installed at their residences because there were tax incentives for those that had them installed. However, since these incentives stopped, there has been a reduction in the amount of persons who are signing up to have them installed at their residences.
Griffith would also like to see a cheaper model of the solar water heater created so that those who are more economically vulnerable would be able to afford to have one installed at their residences.

He said that considering that “Barbados is a small economy, we do not have much wiggle room to do a lot of things” so we must learn how we can use what we have such as the sun and wind to produce alternative sources of energy. (PJT)

 

Source: http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=business&NewsID=20519



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