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Renewed support for solar energy

Eric Smith

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Solar-powered energy systems can be tremendously beneficial for Barbados, and the island needs to look at what has been successfully done in Germany to tap alternate power sources.
Clyde Griffith, executive director of the Barbados Renewable Energy Association (BREA), made this point last week at the National Union of Public Workers’ headquarters in Dalkeith, St Michael.
He told the audience that Germany was a good example to follow if we as a developed nation ever harness our ever blazing sun for energy.
“The Government focuses so much on creating jobs in other sectors that they overlook the potential for job creation in the renewable energy sector right here in Barbados,” said Griffith, a former Minister of Energy.
Griffith’s comments were supported by a member of the audience, Aidan Rogers, who spoke on the merits of implementing solar power and suggested Virtual Net Metering, a system where a photovoltaic array is installed and supplies energy to each house in a neighbourhood instead of outfitting individual homes with solar panelling.
In addition to the benefits of alternative energy, Griffith also touched on ways individuals can save money using current energy, such as making LED lighting the standard instead of fluorescent lighting, buying front-loading washing machines instead of top-loading ones that use 60 per cent more energy, and investing in an energy monitor which aside from being tax-deductible, tells you how much energy your home is using at any given moment.
The lecture was an informative and invigorating session where many suggested that consumers do indeed have the power to effect the change from the extensive use of fossil fuel to the more beneficial forms of renewable energy.