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Govt ‘fast tracking’ new energy policy

Article taken from the Daily Nation October 12, 2022

GOVERNMENT is on a fast track to implement a renewable energy policy that will guarantee investment opportunities for the average Barbadian.

Senior Minister Kerrie Symmonds, who has responsibility for energy, announced in the House of Assembly yesterday an intention to fast-track rates for increased investment in renewable energy, bring a new Electricity Act before Parliament in a few months, and address energy storage given that renewable energy is an intermittent source based on the weather.

In his contribution to a resolution on the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme for the fiscal years 2022/2023 to 2026/2027, Symmonds said Barbadian householders currently had tariffs for systems between two and ten kilowatts. He said he had approved 50 more licences.

The St James Central Member of Parliament said he anticipated rates for power purchase agreements for systems above ten kilowatts would be settled by January.

He noted the vast majority of applications had been for solar energy systems, adding that with the intermittency of these systems, “we have to have (battery) storage”.

He also revealed he had reached out to the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, to provide guidance on offshore wind farms.

He said the necessary experience had to be identified in Barbados and anticipated a need for US$1 billion to US$2 billion of investment in offshore wind generation.

“We have identified sites by way of studies,” he reported. Symmonds said Barbados was the only country in the Eastern Caribbean to be addressing offshore wind generation, adding that the energy strategy developed by Government to achieve a 100 per cent renewable energy sector by 2030, free of fossil fuels, required having a mix of energy systems. He applauded an unnamed investor who had installed a onemegawatt wind energy system near Guinea in St John.

The minister also told the House the “muchbeleaguered” Barbados Light & Power Company was in discussion with Government to install 40 megawatts of wind energy at Lamberts, St Lucy.

Government, he reiterated, had taken a philosophical stand that the masses of Barbadians had a right to be players and benefit from the creation of a new sector, namely, renewable energy.

(HH)

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