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60 per cent Bajan

Bizzy wants locals to have majority stake in renewable sector

When it comes to ownership of the alternative energy sector here, prominent businessman and renewable energy advocate Ralph “Bizzy” Williams wants home drums to beat first.

Arguing that Barbados was in a “unique” position to be “the poster child” for alternative energy in the world, Williams told participants at a renewable energy and energy efficiency workshop at Hilton Barbados Resort that he wished to see alternative energy become accessible to every Barbadian.

And he said one way to achieve this was to “democratize” the process and ensure that Barbadians control a majority of the sector.

“I believe that at least 60 per cent of all alternative energy produced in Barbados should be owned by Barbadian citizens or companies that are owned by Barbadian citizens,” said Williams to applause during a question and answer session.

He made reference to the Canadian energy and services company, Emera, which he said had spent “a tremendous amount of money” here to invest in the Barbados Light & Power Company (BL&P).

Williams admitted that there was “a role” for Emera to play in the distribution of electricity, but he said there must be a limit to this role.

“I do not wish to see a situation where Emera owns the entire thing, otherwise you are going to get objection from lots of good people who would like to invest some of their savings,” the founder and chairman of Williams Industries said.

He contended that commercial banks here were very liquid with billions of dollars of Barbadians’ savings but “cannot find who to lend this money to”, and called for the development of a formula through which the financial institutions would “lend this billions of dollars of Barbadian savings out with good security that every little Bajan can borrow money to put two, three or four kilowatts on their house”.

He called on both the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and BL&P to support this recommendation, while arguing that with over 90,000 private homes on the island, two kilowatt per home would allow Barbadians of all walks of life to benefit from alternative energy.

He discouraged participation in energy auctions, contending they would “guarantee” that the sector would end up in foreign hands, thus excluding locals.

“We need a feed in tariff, that every new system that is installed there is a guaranteed feed in tariff for that system for the duration of the life span, which [could be] about 25 years. We need that,” said Williams.

The renewable energy auction is a public sale at which individuals or companies bid for a total amount or for a portion of available megawatt capacity, while with the feed in tariff scheme contracts are offered to renewable energy producers, usually based on the cost of generation of each technology.

The renewable energy and energy efficiency workshop explored the topic, The Renewable Energy Sector: Enhancing Understanding, Building Collaboration.

6 Responses to 60 per cent Bajan

  1. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews November 19, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Got a point , but we done know Bajans don’t want to invest in their own Island , they will prefer that T&T own everything

  2. Andrew Rudder November 19, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Mr Williams I think you are adressing this matter in the wright direction. Barbadians should have an upperhand in their energy production. I think that local cooperation of energy producers under a regulatory body should have a stake in the national grid and an economic formula established for such a production.

  3. jrsmith November 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I do agree with what , Mr, Williams is saying, I thought Barbados light & Power, which was always the main energy player, have matters in hand, constructing the first (Volvic farm) , this is a sensible start for Barbados. this is now showing a lot of, cheap talk, talk people Barbados doesn’t need ,billions of dollars for new energy. We build on what we have. When are we going to stop standing at the cross road with a tin cup in hand, borrowing and begging .

    If the government of Barbados, loose site of what’s real with the new energy farce ,they will end up with white elephants , which becomes too expensive to maintain. why is it a small island like Barbados is allowing every to be given them advice, who are involve with large corporates. lots of people is jumping up and down about new energy, if these people want to learn anything ,take time from the UK ,government.

    President Obama, is saying one thing and , pursing a different , angle on new allowing fracking in the US. New pipeline from Canada, who going to challenge them.
    In the UK, they have abandon many failing , projects but sustaining some technologies, who is going to challenge, them, they are getting ready to drill and pump the trillions of barrels of oil discovered around Gatwick airport, that’s not new energy.

    The UK government , has just allowed the Chinese, to invest billions , in new nuclear power stations for the UK.

    We in Barbados , need to invest in our people getting jobs, bringing the very bad infrastructure, up to par. many bajans cant open they taps to get water, we have a sewage plant , from construction 15 years , to now still not working ,and all they talk about is new energy. we have serious crime, lots of guns ,regular vehicle fatalities , countries listing us as no go , and all the hell people are just going about new energy. we are behaving like fools.

    • Tony November 21, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Barbados Light & Power no longer belongs to Barbados since a foreign company Emera bought it. So even if they have matters in hand, there would still be cause for concern.

  4. Tony Waterman November 19, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    @jrSmith!!!!!you all over the place on this one, I don’t know if you are aware that BL&PC is NOT Barbadian owned, which has taken that 60% he is Talking about out of Barbadian hands, Williams Industries (100% Bajan) has Solar Energy Installations all over the Place and has applied to the Government to alloe them to Hook into the National Grid (Emera, Canadian Owned) this is now quite a few years ago, and to this day Nothing has been approved and the Law to allow it has not been passed. my suspicion is that Emera was caught Napping and dont want to have anyone putting power into their Grid, which will cost them money.We ahve NO Energy Security, and NO Food Security, we are playing a dangerous Game
    why do you thing we should be following the UK, I thought that we were free of them, they are allowing the Chinese to Build the Neuclear Stations, and the Development of the Oil finds at Heathrow, so how is that Progress that you think we should follow
    That’s bad advice you are giving us.

  5. jrsmith November 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    @,Tony,W, hail,hail, thanks, thanks, for the update, that’s a eye opener, Why the UK, because of the vast amount of technology, which others have used, and the fact that ,they themselves, stop financing, some local projects, there is this continuous grind from the talk, talk Barbados, about new energy. that wind me up. also the big players around the world ,are not playing what they preach.

    As I also said, Barbados ,must be very careful, if the game playing corporates are not happy , with themselves not controlling the market place, chances are they, find some excuse and back away. sad to say this ,business in Barbados is there for the taking by not by bajans.


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