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Gov’t takes more steps to go green

 

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Some of the solar panels installed on the roof of the building housing the ministries of Education and Tourism as part of the move toward renewable energy to sustain the government complex. (Photo by Tameika Malone)

 

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – An estimated 10-to-15 per cent decrease in the consumption of electricity in the building housing the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Tourism is anticipated with the instillation of the US $72,500 grid-tied photovoltaic project.

 

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said the 25 KW Photovoltaic Demonstration Plant for the ministries of Education and Tourism are a step closer towards widespread use of renewable energy.

 

“My government remains absolutely committed to the adoption of renewable energy. This has been given practical expression though the introduction of APUA’s interconnection policy which allows consumers to interconnect their solar and wind systems with the supply they are receiving from APUA.

 

In an effort to reduce the price of renewable energy technologies to the consumer, the government has eliminated most of the taxes and duties on these imported items,” Spencer said at a ceremony yesterday.  He added that the demonstration project, which comprises of 90 50 pound solar panels, is expected to highlight the potential for solar power that exists within Antigua & Barbuda and to encourage people to make the transition to renewable energy.

 

The prime minister noted the need to transition to renewable energy, given the steady increase in the price of petroleum, increasing competitiveness of renewable energy technologies, medium-to-long term savings, and environmental benefits. Spencer noted that while the transition can be expensive, partnerships with friendly governments could offset the costs.

 

The project, according to Spencer, was through the generous contribution and technical assistance from the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GIZ), with financial and technical support from the government of Antigua & Barbuda, primarily through Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

 

GIZ representative Thomas Scheutzlich said there are two options for Caribbean governments to employ to improve efficient electricity generation.  “The innocent times are definitely over where the Caribbean region could cope with increased electricity costs by reducing the profit margins of utilities or passing increase fuel surcharge on to customer and tourists,” Scheutzlich said.

 

“Improved efficiency in electricity generation or using energy saving appliance would reduce electricity generation needs.”   Special thanks were also extended, during the ceremony, to ENERMAX out of Barbados, which partnered with APUA to install the plant.

 

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Category/ies:Antigua & Barbuda News, News, Regional.
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