PHASING OUT incandescent lights, equipping schools and other public buildings with solar power and establishing a “smart fund” to finance projects are part of an ambitious energy plan Government says can cut Barbados’ electricity costs by almost $600 million in the next two decades.
Government’s energy spokesman, Senator Darcy Boyce, made the disclosure yesterday during the opening of a two-day major CARICOM energy meeting at Grand Barbados Beach Resort.
Boyce, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for energy, said moves to have Barbadians make greater use of renewable sources of energy as opposed to fossil fuels, to save energy and cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, would all factor into a National Sustainable Energy Framework now being worked on.
With Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) help, Government recently completed a study on the framework and it suggested that Barbados could substantially improve its energy mix in the next 20 years, Boyce reported.
“This energy mix would be one where renewable energy generation would account for 29 per cent of electricity consumption and the remaining 71 per cent would come from conventional fossil fuel-based resources,” he added.
“This energy mix could also by 2029 cut total electricity costs by US$283.5 million – the net effect of higher capital costs (by US$386.5 million) but lower fuel costs (by US$670 million).”
The energy mix could help “cut CO2 emissions by 4.5 million tons and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to about 71 per cent”, Boyce told the gathering that included ministers and other senior officials from several CARICOM countries.
“It would also result in an overall 22 per cent reduction in electricity consumption based on the use of energy efficiency measures.”
Boyce pointed out that while the framework represented a long-term strategy, there were several energy programmes Government was looking to launch “within the next year”. (TY)