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Hotels in Barbados to embrace renewable energy

Members of the hospitality industry where educated in ways to generate additional income from savings in electricity/ fuel bills, a reduction in operational costs; during a workshop hosted by the Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action Programme (CHENACT), at the Accra Beach Hotel on Wednesday. The Objective of the project is to improve the competitiveness of small and medium sized hotels in the Caribbean Region through improved use of energy, with the emphasis on Renewable Energy and Micro-Generation.

Although Barbados is leading the Caribbean in renewable energy use, Permanent Secretary Bascombe, from the Ministry of Finance, Investment, Energy and Telecommunications, suggests more hotels need to embrace the innovative technological applications available to them, in order to improve their overall competitiveness in the dynamic global industry, stating:

“Tourism value added fell by 8.7 percent in 2009 although the sector’s contribution to GDP has remained around 2% and this situation has been compounded by the Caribbean’s dependence on fossil fuels. Almost the entire region is reliant on imported fuels which accounts for a substantial component of electrical power generated in the region. This dependency, coupled with the price volatility scene of the international market place, continues to be a major concern to regional governments. The competitiveness of the region and its sustained growth is severely impacted by the volatility of international petroleum prices.”

Power generators using renewable, sustainable energy sources reduce atmosphere – harming emissions and renewable energy sources, allow broader freedom of operation, therefore Bascombe suggested that in order to gain the competitive advantage hotels should start to look towards this type of technology as a way forward.

“If the tourism sector is to survive the economic crises over the long run, it must among other things pay specific attention to its competitiveness and by extension the cost structure. Any measure which can therefore substantially reduce costs in this important sector will be welcomed.

The tourism sector is a major user of electricity and it cannot be disputed that electricity rates throughout the Caribbean are some of the highest in the world, when it is considered that almost all of the Caribbean is dependant on imported fuel, which is substantially used for transportation and power generation, any increase in oil prices will evidently result in higher operational costs for the tourism sector.

It has further been shown that despite these realities only a few hotels have actually embraced alternative energy sources or have implemented energy efficient measures. The establishment of a synergistic arrangement with the environment through the approach is self evident, since the region uses ninety percent fossil fuel for energy generation.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy generation provides an excellent opportunity to contribute to the preservation of the environment, while allowing for the claim of carbon credits, the trading of which may generate alternative revenue streams for our country.”


Source; Barbados Advocate



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