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Green pay – Government offers incentives for renewable energy investments

Article by Dawne Parris – Barbados Today March 30, 2021

Government is offering a financial incentive for Barbadians who invest in renewable energy systems above one megawatt (MW).

Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds announced today that an Accelerated Investment Premium will be provided on the Fair Trading Commission’s (FTC) determined feed-in tariffs for solar and wind generation.

The Accelerated Investment Premium Programme will take the form of a 25 per cent premium for investments made in solar and wind technology systems above 1 megawatt (MW) and up to 3MW, and a 20 per cent premium for investments made in solar and wind technology systems above 3MW and up to 5MW.

“The investment premiums…will continue for a period of 12 months. In an effort not to disadvantage applicants who have already applied, but are still awaiting licences, these premia will be made retroactive to cover the period from October 1st, 2020 and will continue for the period of 12 months from today as previously indicated, or until the new limit of 75 MW has been utilized, whichever comes first,” Minister Symmonds said in a ministerial statement delivered in Parliament.

“The premia will offer an incentive to Barbadians to get more involved in the generation of renewable energy, as well as the stimulation of economic activity and employment, and also to position themselves to benefit from the process of greening the Barbadian economy.”

The Barbados National Energy Policy, which was approved in 2019, outlines an 11-year implementation horizon within which Barbados would achieve its vision of becoming 100 per cent fossil fuel free by 2030.

Minister Symmonds said to achieve this, substantial investment by the private sector will be required.

Noting that this investment is driven by feed-in tariffs for renewable energy generators when they supply electricity to the grid, he said the Accelerated Investment Premium would assist in realizing the vision, as it is designed to deliver a green recovery to Barbados and create green opportunities for employment and investment to Barbadians.

“There is no doubt that there are local potential investors who are seeking an opportunity to make investment and drive economic activity and employment in the land of their birth. We believe that one of the more efficient ways in which a country can spur development and growth, is to encourage investment from within, by local entrepreneurs.

“In this regard, we emphasize that investment can be incentivized within the local energy sector, through the minimization of risk in this overarching climate of uncertainty,” the energy minister said.

Symmonds noted that as at December 2020, Barbados had an installed capacity of 49 MW of renewable energy from solar photovoltaics on the national grid.

“This consisted of 39 MW of distributed and 10 MW of utility-scale energy, and represents 68 GWh or an estimated eight per cent of total electricity consumed, saving an estimated 114,412 barrels of oil or $9,215,961 in foreign exchange,” he said.

However, he added, “We still have a long way to go in order to achieve our 2030 vision.”

Following Symmonds’ ministerial statement and messages of well wishes to Members of Parliament from Leader of Government Business Santia Bradshaw, Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley and Speaker of the House Arthur Holder, the House was adjourned for the Easter break.

The next sitting will be on May 4. (DP)

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