Switch to solar power still too expensive, complains Clarke

Member of Parliament for St George North Gline Clarke has credited the Barbadian firm Solar Dynamics for its pioneering work over 40 years ago in the field of solar energy.

However, speaking in Parliament yesterday during debate on the resolution for the Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study, he lamented that the island has “slipped a lot in that area” since then.

Clarke stated that in the 20-plus years that he has been a parliamentarian several ministers of the environment have put forward documents on a green economy. He also acknowledged that past Governments had given incentives to advance the solar energy programme.

However, he said the sector’s development had not been consistent, as each programme had been changed by successive administrations.

“I believe that this whole notion of energy is so important that we must take it out of the political realm so that when the Government goes this programme should continue,” Clarke said.

In recent years the Barbados Renewable Energy Association has been working to raise awareness of energy efficient practices as well as renewable energy technology.

Various local, regional and international institutions have also been working with farmers and fishermen to encourage them to incorporate such practices in their businesses.

However, Clarke pointed out that while countries were seeking to reduce their use of fossil fuels, not all Barbadians could afford to make the switch to renewable energy.

“There are many persons who would want to move their homes, move their businesses into the renewable age but of course the initial financing is still a burden. Even though we know that the Government has provided incentives, the initial work is still expensive for the ordinary Barbadian,” Clarke said.

He added that Government must also bear in mind that many Barbadians were unable to secure financing from the financial institutions to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

“It is taking long for the Government institutions to put a plan in place. [In] the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy there are programmes in place but the ordinary Barbadians cannot access the financing, they cannot access information on how to do it.

“So the ordinary Barbadians today still have the old system of using power from the Barbados Light & Power [Company] so that when the current goes off in the village, the solar energy is not kicked in as we would have hoped,” Clarke said.

4 Responses to Switch to solar power still too expensive, complains Clarke

  1. Sunshine Sunny Shine October 27, 2016 at 10:22 am

    This is one out of 4 ministers in the BLP camp that Mia needs rid herself of.

  2. Ossie Moore October 27, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I Ossie gine tek all de old generators off them idling D-4,6, 8 and9’s Caterpillars and mek a wind charger farm out me land Bro Jack!

  3. jrsmith October 27, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    When it comes to solar energy our little Barbados, had a massive head start on most of the world, but like everything else we just sat back and gradually watch the world catching up. we should have been constructing solar systems in Barbados, and selling to many parts of the world…..Now we have seen so much improve technology..
    All this renewable energy talk in many ways its a corporate con , in the (UK) there were so much free offers which has now been with drawn, because lots of companies though the renewable energy market would have been a cash cow…

    In Barbados people would moan and complain about power bills ,but would borrow 1000 dollars from the bank to buy a cell phone and wouldn’t do the same to help with they energy problem

    @, Ossie ,M , hail, hail, great idea go for it, keep in touch will give
    some ideas , that is bajan makes me feel good….

  4. J. Payne October 28, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Solar cannot fix everything because at night Barbados would be back to square one. However, if the island could switch to Hydrogen fuel cell cars and operate some Hydrogen fueling stations around the country, the country could be much more energy independent.


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