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Moving ahead on energy projects

Marlon Madden

Moving ahead on energy projects

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The Barbados Government continues to move full steam ahead in its bid to help ordinary Barbadians become more energy efficient and increase the use of renewable energy on the island.
This assurance from William Hinds, senior technical officer officer in the Division of Energy and Telecommunications.
His comments came last Tuesday at St Leonard’s Boys’ School during a town hall meeting about the division’s energy week of activities on renewable energy and energy efficiency.
He explained that Government’s sustainable energy initiatives were already taking form and they were now close to setting up a number of smaller projects that fall under the umbrella programme – the Sustainable Energy Framework (SEF) project for Barbados.
“We are in the process of allocating photovoltaic systems to 19 Government buildings, about nine schools and ten National Conservation Commission places and we have also been doing a number of audits,” he said.
“There was a list of specific activities we were targeting to achieve by October last year and we actually passed with flying colours . . . . We have another target that we are closing in on again this year.
“The Barbados Government has had a steady programme in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the last decade and this has been accelerated as a result of the increase in the price of fossil fuel,” Hinds noted.
In 2010, Government signed off on a US$45 million loan to facilitate the design and implementation of its new SEF project. A further $10 million Smart Energy Fund was set up to assist.
In his 2011 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, Finance Minister Chris Sinckler also outlined a number of incentives that will be put in place to encourage people to become more energy efficient.
During the town hall meeting it was also noted that an energy-efficiency pilot project would soon be set up, with the participation of about 3 000 households that use between 100 and 400 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.
Letters have already been sent to eligible householders for them to sign up and take part in the pilot.
In each household involved, the programme will replace five 60-watt incandescent light bulbs with five 13 and/or 15-watt compact flourescent lightbulbs (CFL) and introduce a power monitor for residential meters so householders can tweak their energy use.