barbados-flagBarbados situated just east of the Caribbean Sea, is an independent Continental Island-nation in the western Atlantic Ocean. Its closest island neighbours are Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and Saint Lucia to the west. To the south lies Trinidad and Tobago-with which Barbados now shares a fixed official maritime boundary-and also the South American mainland.

Barbados’s total land area is about 430 square kilometres (166 square miles), and is primarily low-lying, with some higher regions in the country’s interior. The geological composition of Barbados is of non-volcanic origin and is predominantly composed of limestone-coral formed by subduction of the South American plate colliding with the Caribbean plate.

The island’s climate is tropical, with constant trade winds off the Atlantic Ocean serving to keep temperatures mild. Some less developed areas of the country contain tropical woodland and mangroves. Other parts of the interior which contribute to the agriculture industry are dotted with large sugarcane estates and wide, gently sloping pastures, with panoramic views down to the coast also.

Barbados is an oil producer and partially satisfies its own oil and gas requirements. It is also a member of the following international and regional agreements: OLADE, CARICOM, CEAP, UNFCCC and CREDP.

It has an installed capacity of 239.1 MW and an installed RE capacity of 2kW from photovoltaics. However, thanks to the use of solar water heaters and sugarcane bagasse, renewable energy sources contribute approx. 15% of all power used.

The Energy Division, Ministry of Public Utilities is responsible for decision-making in the area of renewable energy matters.

Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Energy


The Energy Division was established in 1978, in the Ministry of Trade, on the advice of technical assistance experts from the Overseas Development Administration of the U.K.

A Geologist, seconded from the Ministry of Agriculture, was the first full-time employee of the Division which was previously staffed by one part-time employee, the Director of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Since 1978, the Division has expanded into an organization responsible for oil and gas; alternative energy; energy conservation (having amalgamated with the Energy Conservation Unit); and providing geological and earth science services to other Government departments, as well as the private sector.

The Division is charged with the mandate of monitoring price movements; liaising with the CariCom Secretariat and OLADE on regional energy issues; preparing Cabinet Papers, briefs, speeches, position papers and comments on energy, geological and earth science-related matters; so that the functioning of an efficient, reliable sector may be ensured.

The Energy Division is comprised of an Administrative Unit; the Legal & Regulatory Unit; the Natural Resources Department; the Renewable Energy & Energy Conservation Unit; and the Research & Planning Unit.

The Division is also responsible for monitoring the Barbados National Oil Company Ltd. (the agency responsible for exploration, production and procurement of oil and gas); the Barbados National Terminal Company Ltd. (which is responsible for the terminalling and storage of oil products and crude oil); and the National Petroleum Corporation (which distributes the gas produced by BNOCL).

The vision for the energy sector in Barbados places emphasis on principles, policies and strategies which encourage development, but recognise the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities which characterize the Barbadian economy. It is for this reason, that environmental sustainability assumes major significance in the Division´s programmes.

Some Achievements:

  • – One of the greatest penetration of solar energy technologies in the Caribbean
  • – Renewable Energy Rider (this Rider)

CIPORE Focal Point Office

Mark Millar

Ministry of Finance,Economic Affairs and Energy
SP Musson Building, 1st Floor Hinck Street
Bridgetown, Barbados

Work: 246-427-9806
Fax: 246-436-6004


Fast Facts

  • Capital: Bridgetown 
  • Official Languages: English
  • Demonym: Bajan
  • Government: Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
  • Independence: 30 November 1966
  • Area: 431 km2 /167 sq mi
  • Population: 279,000 (est 2006.)
  • Currency: Barbadian dollar

RE Snapshot

  • RE Interests: Solar, biomass (Bagasse), OTEC, wind
  • RE Target: 40% by 2010 (BLPC)
  • Utility Company: Barbados Light & Power Company (BLPC)
  • RE in Grid Supply: No
  • Energy Institutions: Energy Division, Ministry of Public Utilities, Barbados Light & Power Company, UWI Centre for Environmental Research Management and Environmental Studies and Caribbean Solar Energy Society (C.S.E.S.).

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