$1 billion fuel cut

Worrell shows how with renewable energy

Barbados could cut out its almost $1 billion fuel import bill by adopting renewable energy systems, but tax incentives are needed, Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell has said.

Central Bank Governor  Dr Delisle Worrell  addressing the BREA forum on Thursday night.
Central Bank Governor Dr Delisle Worrell
addressing the BREA forum on Thursday night.

Addressing a Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA) meeting Thursday night, at which a consumer’s guide to alternative energy was launched, Worrell spoke of the massive foreign exchange that could be saved, and galloping GDP growth that could come from renewable energy usage.

Following the Governor’s stress on the need for the tax breaks on renewable energy, Minister in the Office Of The Prime Minister Senator Darcy Boyce said Government was still working out the “kinks” that affected permission of such incentives.

Senator Darcy Boyce addressing the BREA forum.
Senator Darcy Boyce addressing the BREA forum.

Both Worrell and Boyce were invited speakers at BREA’s launch of a Solar Consumer Guide at the Grande Salle of the Central Bank of Barbados.

Speaking of a potential massive savings in foreign currency through renewable energy usage, Worrell said: “If we no longer needed to import the $700-odd million that we spent on fuel imports in 2013, we would have the equivalent of a windfall in foreign exchange earnings.”

Observing that foreign exchange was the key to economic growth in Barbados, he added: “Energy independence would be the equivalent of about four per cent of additional growth in GDP every year, compared to our current prospects. So, now we’re saying growth in 2015 is expected to be 1.5 per cent. If we didn’t have to import $700 million, thereabouts, of fuel we would actually be in a position to raise that growth rate to five and a half per cent.

“This would be far better than discovering oil, from an economic point of view.”

Describing renewable energy as a “game changer of the economy” Worrell conceded, “Economic and financial challenges of realizing the vision of 100 per cent energy self-sufficiency are formidable.”

Noting a need for substantial funding for establishment of a smart grid for the distribution of electricity among other infrastructure, the Governor said: “What is exciting is that Barbados can now achieve energy independence using existing technology . . . and much of which can be made affordable by suitable tax incentives.”

Senator Boyce said Government had “put on the books” several incentives for the renewable sector and energy efficiency, and gave the assurance “we will continue to work over the next few months to make sure that the kinks, the difficulties that we may have been experiencing in getting those incentives operational, that we can get those kinks out of the way”.

5 Responses to $1 billion fuel cut

  1. Rawle Maycock
    Rawle Maycock March 14, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    The kinks to get out the way is you guys.

  2. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole March 14, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    First and moremost we shoud adopt an integrity legislation bill with one of the main clauses that states that private citizens are not allowed to hold money in the Central Bank and if this ocurrs the govenor should be jailed.

    • zeus March 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Heather before you make comments like those you need to do your research rather than follow hearsay ….are u sure citizens of this country have money in the central bank

  3. Ralph Talma March 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    The Governor is correct. Barbados has the sun, and with modern batteries the excess electricity would be stored for use during periods of darkness. It would take several million dollars to enable an Island-wide scheme to be implemented; and this is where the Government could prove its credibility. If I was lucky enough to win the Lotto here in UK, that is exactly what I would do somewhere in the hills of St Andrews. Good luck.

  4. Alex Alleyne March 15, 2015 at 7:30 am

    If small Island states like Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean try to get out of spending so much money on oil in order to “free’ itself , the International community would put a “strangle hold” around BDS neck that would see us landed in the position like HAITI.


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