Article by: Shamar Blunt – taken from the Weekend Nation October 7, 2022
Barbados’ fuel import bill has doubled in the first six months of 2022 when compared to the same period last year.
This disclosure came from Minister of Energy and Business Development Kerrie Symmonds as he gave brief remarks during the first of a three-part renewable energy community engagement series held at the Alexandra Secondary School on Wednesday.
He told attendees that given the unprecedented events facing financial markets the world over, such as the war in Ukraine and natural disasters hitting other regions, Barbados had not escaped having to pay dramatically higher prices for imported fuel in 2022.
“I checked with the figures only today….
Normally between the start of January and the start of June, Barbados would spend on average US$222 million to US$230 million in the importation of fossil fuels, which is gas and diesel and so on. This year, between the start of January and the start of June, Barbados already spent $460 million.
“We have doubled that which we would have normally done as a result of the price surges caused by what is happening in the Ukraine,” Symmonds said.
He said citizens should be using the opportunity to invest in the local renewable energy sector as it would assist the country in becoming more financially stable when facing future international events that affect the price of oil.
“This country has to be relieved from the shackles of energy dependence and come to a point where not only Barbados, but Barbados’ business and . . . individuals in their homes, must be able to have the kind of independence that allows you to plan out so you have energy security, yes, but also price stability, so that you do not have to worry about [conflicts] 1 000 miles away being of consequence to all of your plans,” the Energy Minister said.