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Natural gas, bagasse options

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Natural gas, bagasse options

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IT IS UNLIKELY that Barbados will be able to quit using fossil fuels anytime soon, says Mark King, managing director of Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd (BL&P).
King, who took up his post last November, was speaking last Wednesday during the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Meet The Minister session where members of the business community interfaced with Minister of Commerce and Trade Senator Haynesley Benn.
During the event at Hilton Barbados, he said an Inter-American Development Bank study revealed that “we cannot in the near or medium term relieve ourselves entirely of the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity”.
“As a matter of fact, the report . . . suggested that at best we could be looking at 29 per cent penetration of renewable energy by 2029, which indicates that the 71 per cent will have to be coming from fossil fuels so fossil fuels are going to be around for quite a while,” he said.
King suggested that natural gas, “the cleanest fossil fuel”, provided an opportunity for Barbados to bring some level of stability to the fuel-cost component of electricity bills.
King said BL&P was actively involved with a Government-led team that was in Trinidad at the time “working on negotiating in terms of how we interact with the [Trinidad and Tobago] government and the potential suppliers of natural gas to Barbados”.
Another area the managing director said was full of potential was Barbados Cane Industry Corporation’s bagasse project.
“The preliminary numbers and the analysis that we’ve done to date suggest that it is economically feasible. . . .
“We’re working closely with them to bring this on line,” he said, noting that this type of energy generation was not intermittent like wind and solar.
King added that BL&P recently participated in a feasibility study of biogas – using anaerobic digestion to generate gas from animal waste – and it should soon be known how viable such a project would be.
He said while the company was still in discussion with a land owner at Lamberts, St Lucy, with regard to the long-proposed wind farm, the project was still on the front burner. (NB)