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Hinds: More training in solar energy needed

Mr. William Hinds, a local expert in the area of solar energy, says that after more than three decades of building the capacity in this field, there must be a concerted effort to train more persons to ensure that the expertise is spread across the country.

His comments came against the backdrop of a solar electricity system which was recently launched at the Ministry of Transport and Works, which will power the administrative wing of the Ministry, located in the Pine St. Michael.

Hinds, who was the consultant on this project, remarked that now that the groundwork has been done at the MTW, it would be easy to replicate this system in other Ministries.

He stressed that in order to move forward in photovoltaics, “not only does every Ministry need to be on board in terms of having a point person who has the knowledge and skills, but every key agency in the private sector who wants to go in this direction also needs to have someone who is trained and experienced”.

“It took us 35 years to build the capacity and global leadership and expertise. It probably would be a good idea to turn around that capacity and expertise in the area of solar electric systems in the shortest space of time.

“It really means that we have to train many people and many people and many companies have to come on board. On a personal level is to see Barbados not only become the focal point of the region in terms of solar water heaters, but that it becomes the focal point for the installation and training in photovoltaics,” he said.

During that project, Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce, said that the grid tied system in the Pine is expected to save the Ministry up to $35 000 per year and, with an implementation cost of about $220 000, it is expected to have a payback period of about eight years, which he noted is acceptable given the long life of photovoltaic systems. (JH)



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