THE ISSUE (ON THE RIGHT): Need to cut energy wastage
Should Barbados pursue a 100 per cent renewable energy system?
I fully endorse a 100 per cent renewable energy strategy for Barbados. However, my approach on how to do that is a little different from Professor Olav Hohmeyer’s.
As an engineer, I also do my own research, albeit it at a micro level. But the vision that I had for Barbados was taking an approach first at changing the load profile.
The professor’s design for a 100 per cent renewable energy system is based on the current load profile of Barbados. I am well aware that there is lots of wastage of energy in Barbados – the load profile of Barbados right now is horrible as far as wastage is concerned.
So my views will be always to take a serious approach to changing that load profile and becoming more efficient in the conservation of energy and reducing the load profile significantly.
That then will put us in a position to implement a renewable energy system at a much lower cost and with a much smaller system.
I have done some testing at my own home and some others with balancing wind energy, photovoltaic and storage successfully using batteries. It is at the micro level; it is not at the level the professor is looking at, and the whole system hinges on changing that load profile.
So I do believe in the 100 per cent renewable energy objective, but I believe that to do it without changing and becoming efficient and looking at that part of the picture will be more expensive than it needs to be, and that you would have to put in a bigger system than we really need to be putting in.
So my approach is a nationally significant energy conservation and reduction programme.
It was started already by introducing LEDs and stuff like that, but there is a lot more that needs to be done at the individual level and at the national level first and then when we become very efficient at how we consume energy, then we can talk about how we produce what we do use by a 100 per cent renewable energy.
So that would be my approach. While I endorse the 100 per cent renewable energy, I am going to take a different approach on how we do it.
When we take that holistic approach and alter your load profile, we can bring down electricity production costs by 45 cents to 50 cents per kilowatt hour, but that will require a more aggressive load profile operation. But it is possible and I think that is where we should be looking.
Efficiency is going to be extremely important. I personally have a problem with producing energy for wastage. I have a big problem mass-producing energy at any cost for wastage – and there is a lot of wastage in the system at every household and at the national level.