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FTC reports on investors’ interest in renewable energy sector

Article taken from the Barbados Today – Wednesday 23, February 2022

As Barbados moves towards becoming fossil fuel-free by 2030, agencies falling under the Ministry of Energy and Business Development are making provisions to facilitate various aspects of that drive.

Speaking during the Estimates Debate in Parliament on Wednesday, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) Dr Marsha Atherley- Agechee said that agency had come up with a template to guide would-be investors in the renewable energy sector.

“We have come up with a purchase power agreement, or PPA, which investors in the renewable energy sector would take to the bank or other lending agencies for financing, and it highlights the responsibilities of the supplier. Currently, we are dealing with the one to ten megawatt sector and, so far, we have received 12 submissions from investors, as well as the local and international banking sector,” she said.

“We have a PPA template aimed at facilitating the sector which, given its nature, will be modified to suit the individual applicants. Certain elements will be standard, but others will differ based on the nature of the project, such as its size and its location. To give an example, a project in St. Andrew where there is not much electrical infrastructure will have different requirements from one in the Spring Garden area of St Michael where electrical plants are located,” the FTC official further explained.

Meanwhile, in response to a question from Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Wilfred Abrahams about whether tax incentives would be provided for Barbadians who want to purchase electric vehicles (EVs), Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Andrew Gittens, said that was a work in progress.

“We would have formed a committee comprising representatives from the petroleum industry, new and used car dealers, and members of the transportation sector, and they agreed that to move things forward, we would have to introduce some incentives because electric vehicles are expensive at present,” Gittens said.

“The way it is looking now, the 2030 target may be a hard one to reach, especially since some categories of vehicles are not currently available as EVs, and dealers have said some manufacturers have not produced EVs for the Caribbean market as yet.”

On another topic raised by Abrahams, namely the speed at which business applications were processed by the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO), Acting Director Tameisha Rochester said some of the issues that were delaying the process have been ironed out.

“We are expecting to have all of our services online by June of this year, and in terms of the response time, we have been responding to 80 per cent of all cases filed online within 24 hours,” she said. “We did have some teething problems at the start in terms of some technical glitches, but we worked towards resolving them as soon as we were made aware of them.” (DH)


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