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Green plans taking shape

Chief Energy Conservation Officer William Hinds (left) with Minister of Drainage and the Environment Dr. Denis Lowe, contractor Hallam Edwards of Enermax, Minister of Education Ronald Jones and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Officer Senator Darcy Boyce during the flicking of the switch of the Pebbles Beach Solar Electricity System yesterday morning.

Chief Energy Conservation Officer William Hinds (left) with Minister of Drainage and the Environment Dr. Denis Lowe, contractor Hallam Edwards of Enermax, Minister of Education Ronald Jones and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Officer Senator Darcy Boyce during the flicking of the switch of the Pebbles Beach Solar Electricity System yesterday morning.

It is believed that Barbados will generate at least 30 per cent of the energy produced from renewable energy sources much earlier than the projected 2029 timeline as outlined in the National Policy.

 

This is according to Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he delivered the featured address at the launch of Government’s Solar Electricity Programme at the Hilton Barbados yesterday morning, signalling the start of a week of activities to celebrate World Environment Day on June 5.

 

The project is a collaborative effort between the Government of Barbados, the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environmental Facility.

 

According to the Minister, the initiatives that this country is taking with respect to establishing a viable renewable energy and energy efficiency sector must therefore be seen within the context of government’s intention to create a Green Economy. 

 

“This effort is being made as part of Government’s attempt to reduce the importation of fossil fuels which in 2012 cost the country in excess of BDS$800 million, which is about 7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product,” he informed.

 

“The projects to be executed in our roadmap include the waste to energy plant and the conversion of bio-mass at Andrews’ sugar factory into electricity, and they together will generate 50 Megawatts of electricity.

 

“Other projects and programmes include the procurement of electric vehicles for the public sector, the distribution of energy-efficient lights, the retrofitting of Government buildings with energy efficient technologies, and the replacement of the over 25 000 street lights.

 

He told specially invited guests that as a land-scarce country blessed with almost 365 days of sunshine, Barbados can ill-afford to have acres of roof space around the island which can be used as generators of electricity. 

 

“Of particular interest then is the conversion of the roofs of all Government-owned buildings into mini solar electricity generating power plants to complement the efforts being made in the private sector and in households.”

 

He explained that over 100 of these buildings across the island will be outfitted with solar electricity systems. He revealed that contracts have already been awarded for 19 of these buildings.

 

In an effort to support renewable energy and energy efficiency as one of the engines of the economy, he noted that Government has established an extensive system of tax and other concessions. 

 

“We are further seeking to restructure the economy, in part through the development of new skills in this area with a view to the creation of hundreds of ‘green jobs’,” he assured. (JH)

 

Source: http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=36726



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