Farmers urged to use solar energy to cut costs


The farming community is being urged to employ greater use of solar energy into their operations in order to help cut costs.

This advice has come from businessman and former chief executive officer of Solaris Global Energy Limited, Vincent McClean, who said he believed Barbadians needed to save more in certain areas given the persistently harsh economic times.

Mclean was speaking to Barbados TODAY recently on the sidelines of his retirement service at the Radisson Aquatica Resort.

McClean spent more than 30 years in the solar water heating industry. He was the co-founder of the solar water heating company Aqua Sol Components Limited.

In 2011 it was announced that Aqua Sol Components Limited became majority owned by Solaris Energy Limited, a Trinidadian company. The partnership resulted in the rebranding of the company to Solaris Global Energy Limited.

McClean said he believed if more Barbadians employed greater use of renewable energy in their businesses it could help the government to cut back on the massive fuel import bill while helping them to cut back on their operation costs and help to drive down food prices.

“Barbadians need to employ and integrate renewable energy into their businesses. In the farming business Barbadians need to use renewable energy to use solar energy for drying and fish farming. Fish farming is something that should be done in Barbados,” he said.

“And in chicken raring all the chicken pens are ventilated using electrical power and those can be ventilated using renewable electricity so it can be used extensively. Hatcheries, they can use renewable energy in keeping the eggs warm instead of using fossil fuel generated electricity. There are so many uses. We can accelerate the rate by which householders are using renewable energy as well. I think that would go a long way in giving new jobs to Barbadians,” explained McClean.

Regarding the latest retrenchment of public sector workers by government, the businessman said he believed “the private enterprises have a duty to try to absorb as many persons as possible”.

McClean said he believed there would be a drain on the National Insurnace Scheme and he hoped persons could quickly be reabsorbed into the workforce.

“I just hope persons who have experience and can give advice as to how persons can become innovative and create their own businesses,” he said, adding that more people should consider getting into farming.

Solaris Global Energy Limited currently employs about 26 people and operates in a number of islands across the region. The company plans to expand locally and regionally. (MM) 

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