Cabinet approves energy project

Solar Dynamics’ James Husbands (left) shows one of his solar panels to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (centre) and Joel Branski of the IDB.

The Government has unveiled a new $49.3 million Public Sector Smart Energy Programme for Barbados.

In opening Energy Week this morning at Hilton Barbados, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced that Cabinet had recently approved the creation of the programme to complement the Inter-American Development Bank funded $20 million Smart Energy Programme.

“The Public Sector Smart Energy Programme sum includes a grant of US$7,664,000 from the European Community and an investment loan of US$17 million from the Inter-American Development,” Stuart revealed.

He said this programme would entail the retrofitting of at least 12 government-owned buildings with energy efficiency technologies and the installation of solar photo-voltaic systems on these buildings.

The Prime Minister said too that it would include the procurement of a fleet of government vehicles, powered by renewable energy sources, which would be used to promote low carbon transportation technologies in Barbados.

Furthermore, he added, the programme would cover the retrofitting of more than 25,000 street lights with LED or other energy efficient street lighting.

Prime Minister Stuart informed the gathering that both the private and public sectors would be actively contributing to the achievement of the overall objective of reducing the country’s dependency on fossil fuels.

He suggested that the Government had recognised that although energy efficiency was considered the “low-hanging fruit” of sustainable energy, it had not been sufficiently pursued in this country.

“The audits carried out on Government-owned buildings as well as hotels, show that energy savings in the amount of 15 per cent can be made with the adoption of some very simple initiatives,” Stuart noted.

“The Government will therefore be undertaking a comprehensive energy efficiency and energy conservation programme early next year.”

He said they would lead by example with respect to this energy efficiency and energy conservation plan. “This activity will include the adoption of a disposal plan for energy efficiency lighting and thereafter the

implementation of the phase out plan for energy inefficiency lighting. The Cabinet has already approved this plan,” he reported. (EJ)

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