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Much to be had from renewable energy

estimates2013dennisloweGovernment’s plans for the environment will not only see the country saving money that can be pumped into other areas, but it will see the revolutionary use of energy across Barbados not before seen in the Caribbean.

MP for Christ Church East, Dr. Denis Lowe, told the House of Assembly during debates this evening that oil was a key driver in business in Barbados, but if this cost could be reduced it could be a move in the right direction.

“We understand that oil prices are another serious driver in how we do business. We do not produce the level of fossil fuel-based energy that we could boast of that could cost us to reduce the amount of output in cost on fossil fuel products every year, which is up to $800 million.

“The Minister of Agriculture is now working hard to ensure that there is a revolutionary reform in the agricultural sector that allows us to be able to build out agricultural products and services that will help us to reduce our import food costs up to $500 million a year.

“Can you imagine if we can reduce those costs what an injection it would be in the economy of Barbados and how it would give us so much more disposable income or disposable resources that we could put in other places like the social services and environmental services and so on to keep us moving forward?” the Minister of Environment queried.

His ministry, Lowe said, was now focused on renewable energy through its green energy programme, which he called exciting as it examined the utilisation of natural resources into energy resources.

Wind, sun and waste, he noted, were the new focus of the ministry towards making the island energy efficient, and once his four-pronged approach was operational they would be able to supply several thousand homes with renewable energy.

“We are also building out our landfill gas-to-energy programme, which has the capacity to generate enough electricity that they can power 8,000 homes per year. Our wind farm that we have proposed is in the business of being able to generate electricity to cover 7,000 homes, and the solar farm has the capacity of generating electricity to cover over 940 households per year.

“In total, once these projects have been built out they will generate 31MW of power and be able to drive the needs of 43,000 homes per annum,” Lowe explained.

He said this was all part of the plans to create policies that were responsive to the needs of the people – all on the road to greater efficiency and sustainability. (LB)

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