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Jones points to ‘green schools’

Trevor Yearwood

Jones points to ‘green schools’

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ANY NEW SCHOOL which Government constructs might well start off using some alternative energy system.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones  says this is part of Government’s plan  to eventually wean both primary and secondary schools off electricity produced from fossil fuels.
“Any new school or replacement school will have green energy solutions,” he told reporters on Monday.
“We are going to do everything for  a green energy solution.”
He added: “I believe the six nursery schools to be built commencing in October  of this year will also have green  energy solutions.”
According to Jones: “we want to have zero use of generated electricity from the national grid to a position where we are generating all of the electricity within the educational sector and then possibly feeding the surplus or the excess into the grid”.
Jones said Government was now spending about $4 million on energy and energy use in schools and “going solar” using cheaper, cleaner energy would have its benefits at a time of expenditure cutbacks in Government departments.
Some institutions would be “able to scale back a bit so that somebody can get a little of what [funds] we are currently using”,  he pointed out.
Jones said Barbados was stepping up  its green energy programme at a time when the cost of setting up renewable energy systems was also going down.
A “massive drop in the cost” was making it “easier, or cheaper, for more and more families [to get involved], more and more Government solutions to be able to be applied within the sector”.
Jones talked to the media after  the signing at Hilton Barbados of an agreement for solar energy systems  to be set up at ten secondary  and primary schools.
The agreement on the schools project  was signed by Minister in the Office  of the Prime Minister with responsibility  for energy Senator Darcy Boyce and contractor Allan Williams, manager  of Solar Energy Innovations.
Among those attending the ceremony  was Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Stephen O’Malley.
O’Malley said the Barbados renewable energy project which the UNDP was helping to fund – and which included the schools programme – was designed with both  the economy and environment in mind.
It would promote increased access  to clean energy, with systems to be set  up on a number of Government structures, he pointed out.
Expected achievements included  the continued reduction of dependency on fossil fuels and a drop in greenhouse gas emissions, he told the gathering.
The project would also contribute  to Barbados’ energy security, according  to O’Malley. (TY)